• Contact Us

    Environmental Surveillance and Toxicology Branch
    1100 West 49th Street
    Austin, Texas 78756

    Phone: 1-800-588-1248
    Fax: 512-776-7222

    epitox@dshs.texas.gov


Open Burn Pit Registry

What are Open Burn Pits?

Open burn pits are areas of land used for solid waste disposal by burning the waste. Burn pits do not use control measures for the burning of solid waste like incinerators or other equipment as they are outside in open-air. Some military sites outside of the United States use open burn pits as a method to burn waste.

The purpose of burn pits is to dispose of trash that comes from assigned personnel at military sites outside of the United States such as Afghanistan or Iraq. Many of the materials thrown into the burn pits are not recorded. The known materials include

  • plastics;
  • metal and aluminum cans;
  • rubber;
  • paints;
  • petroleum;
  • oil;
  • lubricant products;
  • wood;
  • food waste;
  • medical waste;
  • human waste;
  • and unexploded military weapons, ammunition, and equipment.

Jet fuel is often used to start the fire. Burning waste in open burn pits adds more to air pollution than other methods such as incinerators. The level of air pollutants in countries with open burn pits is often higher than what is acceptable in the United States.

Health Effects

Current studies can't tell us if open burn pits could affect people's health.

Researchers are continuing to study the impact of open burn pit exposure on service members' and veteran's health.

For more information go to the US Department of Veteran Affairs Burn Pit web page .

If you are concerned about your health and exposure to open burn pits, contact your health provider or your local VA Health Environmental Coordinator.

Local TX Health Environmental Coordinators

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What is the Burn Pit Registry?

The Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit (AH&OBP) Registry is a free, voluntary, online questionnaire for service members and veterans to report health concerns or exposures that occurred during deployment. The series of questions asks about your deployment history, health information, suspected exposures to air pollutants, and contact information.

Who is eligible?

Service members and veterans who served in:

  • Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn
  • Djibouti, Africa on or after September 11, 2001
  • Operations Desert Shield or Desert Storm (1990-1991 Gulf War)
  • Southwest Asia theater of operations on or after August 2, 1990
  • These criteria include the following countries bodies of water, and airspace above
    • Iraq
    • Afghanistan
    • Kuwait
    • Saudi Arabia
    • Bahrain
    • Djibouti
    • Gulf of Aden
    • Gulf of Oman
    • Oman
    • Qatar
    • United Arab Emirates
    • The waters of the Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea, and Red Sea

What can I expect?

  • The questionnaire is online.
  • There is no cost to participate.
  • It will take about 40 minutes to complete. You can start the questionnaire and come back to it later.

How can I participate?

Burn Pit Regisry FAQ VA.gov

Videos by the VA

Short informational videos on the AH&OBP Registry posted by the VA:

Introduction and information about the AH&OBP Registry (YouTube)

Benefits of the AH&OBP Registry and information about the AH&OBP Registry process (YouTube)

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Resources

Texas Veterans Portal

State of Texas General Resources Works best in Google Chrome

US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA)

Texas Veterans Affairs

Locations (all topics)

Texas Veterans Commission

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Last updated October 15, 2020