Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry

 
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App Description

Burn Pit Registry - Mobile App Icon Lock Icon - DS Logon Required

If you are a Veteran or Servicemember who served in the Southwest Asia theater of operations after August 2, 1990, or in Djibouti, Africa or Afghanistan after September 11, 2001, you are eligible to participate in the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry.

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The Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry is an online database of health information from Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn (OEF/OIF/OND) or 1990-1991 Gulf War Veterans and Servicemembers collected through a questionnaire about exposures to airborne hazards. The Registry will help you become more aware of your own potential health issues and help VA better understand the potential health effects of deployment-related exposures.

By enrolling in the Registry, you can create a snapshot from which to identify changes in your health, print your completed questionnaire, use it to discuss concerns with your provider and learn about follow-up care.

Some Veterans and Servicemembers may experience difficulties receiving accurate deployment information within the registry if they deployed during the following timeframes:

  • After 1991, but before September 11, 2001
  • If you have recently returned from deployment within the last 60 days

If you are a Veteran or Servicemember experiencing difficulties receiving the correct deployment information and have deployed during the outlined deployment periods stated above, we ask for your patience while we continue to address technical approaches to solving any challenges.

Features:

  • Review resources to learn more about burn pits, potential health care risks and VA benefits
  • Complete a questionnaire about your exposures to airborne hazards (such as smoke from burn pits, oil-well fires or pollution during deployment), as well as other exposures and health concerns
  • Print or download your completed questionnaire to share with your provider

App Description

Burn Pit Registry - Mobile App Icon
Lock Icon - DS Logon Required

If you are a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provider, the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry allows you to access health data from registry participants.

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The Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry is an online database of health information from Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn (OEF/OIF/OND) or 1990-1991 Gulf War Veterans and Servicemembers collected through a questionnaire about exposures to airborne hazards. The Registry will help participants (Veterans and Servicemembers) become more knowledgeable of their own potential health issues and help VA better understand the potential health effects of deployment-related exposures.

Features:

  • Review additional information about burn pits and health care resources
  • Review a participant’s completed questionnaire with information about his or her exposures to airborne hazards (such as smoke from burn pits, oil-well fires, or pollution during deployment), as well as other exposures and health concerns
  • Print or download a participant’s completed questionnaire
FAQ's: 

What is the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry?

The registry is a tool to help Servicemembers and Veterans become more aware of their own health and help the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to identify health conditions possibly related to burn pit exposure or other airborne hazards during military service. Participation in the registry is voluntary. Active duty Servicemembers and Veterans can participate in the registry by completing a web-based health questionnaire about their health and exposures to airborne hazards. Information reported by participants is maintained in a secure database, and may be used in future research studies.

Why did VA develop the on-line registry for Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry?

Public Law 112-260 mandated VA establish an Open Burn Pit Registry. An online registry does not require an in-person medical evaluation and allows for a greater number of participants to be engaged. An in-person evaluation is optional.

What is an airborne hazard?

Airborne Hazards can be any number of airborne environmental contaminants that may cause short- and long-term health effects to exposed individuals. Examples of airborne hazards include burn pit smoke, oil well fire smoke, sand, dust and particles, among others.

For more information: http://www.epa.gov/pm/basic.html

What is an open burn pit?

The use of open burn pits (also called open-air burn pits) was a common waste disposal practice at military sites outside of the U.S., including Iraq and Afghanistan. Airborne hazards such as smoke and other emissions from these pits contained an unknown mixture of substances that may have short- and long-term health effects, especially for individuals who were exposed for longer periods or those with pre-existing conditions such as asthma or other lung or heart conditions.

I am experiencing symptoms that I believe are related to exposure to burn pits. What should I do?

If you are experiencing any urgent symptoms, such as difficulty breathing or chest pains, you should go to the nearest emergency room, call 911, or contact your primary care manager for instructions.

Veterans: Medical professionals with expertise in military exposures and health care benefits are available at VA medical centers. Veterans who are already enrolled in VA health care should talk to their primary care provider or Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) to schedule an appointment for a medical evaluation. Veterans who are not already enrolled should contact an Environmental Health Coordinator at the nearest VA medical center. Find the nearest Environmental Health Coordinator by visiting the following link: http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/coordinators.asp

Active Duty (Active Duty Servicemembers, including activated Reserve and Guard personnel): If you have any health or exposure concerns, you may contact your local military hospital or clinic to schedule an appointment for a voluntary medical evaluation. You should state that you are calling for an appointment specifically to address “health concerns related to the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry exposures.” DoD will provide you with a voluntary medical evaluation upon request. Please note a medical evaluation is NOT required to be in the registry.

Reserve Component members (Army and Air National Guard, and Reserve): Whether discharged or still serving, these individuals will be managed by the VA in the same manner as other Veterans. The VA will provide a voluntary medical evaluation upon request. If you are a Veteran or inactive/separated National Guard or Reservist, and you are enrolled in the VA Health Care System, you should contact your primary care physician or Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) to schedule an appointment for a medical evaluation. If you are a Veteran or inactive/separated National Guard or Reservist, are not enrolled in the VA Health Care System and would like to schedule an initial no-cost medical evaluation, please contact a VA Environmental Health Coordinator (EHC) in your area by visiting this link: http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/coordinators.asp

Why should I participate in the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry?

Veterans and Servicemembers should participate in the registry to become more aware of their health, to receive information about ongoing health studies and VA services, and to create a “snapshot” of their health to guide health discussions with a health care provider. Veteran participants are also eligible for a no-cost VA medical evaluation. In addition, other benefits include helping VA learn more about the health effects of exposure to burn pits and other airborne hazards. By participating, Veterans are helping VA to monitor certain diseases and health conditions.

Am I eligible to participate?

VA will use deployment data provided by the Department of Defense (DoD) to determine your eligibility. To be eligible, you must be a Veteran or Servicemember who deployed to contingency operations in the Southwest Asia theater of operations at any time on or after August 2, 1990 (as defined in 38 CFR 3.317(e)(2)), or Afghanistan or Djibouti on or after September 11, 2001. These regions include the following countries, bodies of water and the airspace above these locations: Iraq; Afghanistan; Kuwait; Saudi Arabia; Bahrain; Djibouti; Gulf of Aden; Gulf of Oman; Oman; Qatar; United Arab Emirates; Waters of the Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea and the Red Sea.

How do I request an eligibility review?

You will only have the option to request an eligibility review if the records VA has for you do not contain eligible deployment information. To request an eligibility review, select the Request an Eligibility Review button. Complete the three steps and submit your information to request a review of your eligibility.

Note: You will only have the option to request an eligibility review if the records VA has for you do not contain eligible deployment information.

For more information, please visit the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry FAQs by following this link https://veteran.mobilehealth.va.gov/AHBurnPitRegistry/index.html#page/faq.

I was a Federal civilian or a contractor. Am I eligible for the registry?

Public Law 112-260 Section 201, the law that established the Registry, limits participation to individuals who deployed as members of the Armed Forces. However, the results obtained from health assessments completed by participating Veterans and Servicemembers and the accompanying research might be beneficial to other individuals who also deployed. VA and DoD will continue to evaluate available science and update outreach materials such as this website with new findings.

In the meantime, all Federal Government civilian employees and contractor personnel who were possibly exposed to airborne hazards, including open burn pits, and have concerns about an exposure or possible deployment-related illness or injury, should seek medical attention and contact the agency or company that employed them during the relevant deployment(s). Non-military former deployers who believe a health condition may be job-related should work with their employer to file for workers’ compensation if they qualify.

What is a DS Logon, and do I need one?

DS Logon stands for Department of Defense Self-Service Logon, and is a secure logon ID created by the Department of Defense (DoD) to increase the level of security for users of various VA and DoD websites beyond simple username/passwords.

You must have or create a DS Logon before beginning the Registry. Obtaining a DS Logon can be accomplished at the following link: dmdc.osd.mil/identitymanagement

What if I have a DS Logon Level 1 (Basic) Account?

You will need to upgrade your account to a DS Logon Level 2 (Premium) Account. You can:

  • Follow the instructions on the Registry homepage to attempt to log in.
  • Visit mobile.va.gov/dslogon; or call 1-800-983-0937.

How do I access the Registry?

You can access the Registry from the:

  • VA Launchpad, which you can access at mobilehealth.va.gov/appstore. The VA Launchpad is an easy way to consolidate VA’s Mobile Applications (Apps) and websites that require a DS Logon and enables you to sign in once to access multiple tools.
  • Directly from the Registry Home screen at https://veteran.mobilehealth.va.gov/AHBurnPitRegistry.
  • Directly from the eBenefits portal after you are logged in.

    There are two ways you can log into the Registry:

    • When you access the Registry through the App Store and reach the Registry Home screen, select DS Logon Sign in (either with the button in the upper right corner or in the right-hand column) > Enter your DS Logon Level 2 (Premium) Account credentials > Select Sign In.
    • Log into your eBenefits account > Under the main menu, select Manage Health > You will go to a Manage Your Health Care Benefits screen > Scroll down the page until you reach the Health Studies section > Select Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry.

The first time you log in, you will be taken to a screen that asks you to confirm your consent to the End User License Agreement (“EULA”) and Notice of Privacy Practices (“Notice”). Read the EULA and Notice. Select the I Consent, take me to the registry button if you wish to proceed, or the I Do Not Consent, exit button to exit.

How long does the questionnaire take to complete?

About 40 minutes.

Can I save my answers and come back to the questionnaire?

Yes. You do not have to complete the questionnaire in one sitting. You have the option to save your answers at any time by selecting the Save button at the bottom of the screen. NOTE: You will not be enrolled in the Registry until you have completed and submitted the questionnaire.

What types of questions should I be prepared to answer?

You will be asked a series of questions in the following categories:

  • Deployment timeframes and bases to which you were stationed
  • Conditions and health issues that cause difficulty with daily activities
  • Current and past health symptoms
  • Residential history (where you have lived)
  • Occupational history (what type of work you do)
  • Dust, gas, vapors or fumes exposures
  • Home environment and hobbies
  • Health care use
  • Contact preferences

Is something wrong if I’m seeing blank pages or that the numbers of my questions are out of order?

No. Because some questions are related to others, questions may appear or disappear based upon how you answered previously. For example, if you answer a question about your job, you may see another question appear asking how long you were in your position. Similarly, if you answer you do not smoke, you may see that subsequent questions about specific smoking habits no longer appear. This may impact the numbering and lettering of questions. It is also possible you may screens that are entirely blank with no questions.

How do I update my deployment history?

The first section of the questionnaire autopopulates information about your deployment history, which is pulled from VA’s records, and requests you confirm or update it. Review the deployment periods listed, and select the circle next to either Yes or No to indicated if the information is complete and accurate.

If deployments are missing from the list, you can search to find and add information by typing a base, country or body of water in the search bar and then selecting Search. Next to the deployment information that applies to your service, select Add, and fill out the branch, dates, conflict, base and country by tapping the drop-down menus or typing in the information. When you have finished updating your deployment history, select Save Changes.

The registry says I do not have any eligible deployments but I have deployed to locations that are listed as eligible. How can I correct this?

Eligibility to participate is determined in accordance with Public Law 112-260, as described in the Federal Register Notice (https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-14881). At this time, the records used to determine your eligibility indicate you have not had a qualifying deployment to the Southwest Asia theater, Djibouti or Afghanistan.

This may be a result of missing or inaccurate data in DoD’s deployment database, which is being used to determine the Servicemembers and Veterans who can complete the registry questionnaire. VA is working with the Department of Defense to resolve this issue as soon as possible and to ensure that all eligible Servicemembers and Veterans are able to register.

Within the Registry, select “Request an Eligibility Review.” The Registry will ask you to enter your contact information and eligible deployment information. The information you submit will be manually reviewed to determine if VA has documentation to verify your service in one of the qualifying locations. If no records can be located, you will be given the opportunity to provide any documents that indicate your eligible deployment(s).

Why does the questionnaire ask questions about my current job and hobbies?

It is important for medical providers to have a complete picture of your health. The questionnaire asks a broad range of questions because an individual’s health is greatly influenced by their lifestyle. Health conditions can worsen over time from additional or prolonged exposures received during work or recreation. NOTE: Your current or past jobs, hobbies, civilian exposures and lifestyle will not affect eligibility for benefits.

When I add personal information into the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry, will other people see my answers?

Your personal information will be saved and reviewed by VA for authorized purposes only. Aggregate and de-identified data will be available to other government agencies, research institutions and the general public.

You are responsible for protecting your personal information you print out or download. It is important to protect your information. Protect this information the same way you would protect your banking or credit card information. Do not leave your printed information on a printer. Do not save your downloaded information to a public computer. When using a public computer, save your information to a CD or thumb drive. Remember to take the CD or thumb drive with you when you finish.

NOTE: If you are using a public computer, the safest way to view your information is to choose the .TXT file and view it only. If you chose to open or download a .PDF file, you create a temporary file on the computer. This file can be viewed by others. To reduce the chance of others viewing your registry information you should not download your data to public or shared computers

Will my health care team be able to access my completed questionnaire on their computers?

For Veterans, VA providers will be able to access your completed questionnaire. VA is working to enable DoD providers’ access to Servicemembers’ completed questionnaires through the DoD Electronic Health Record (EHR).

What are my messages, and how can I access and respond to them?

The Office of Public Health may send follow-up questions after you complete the questionnaire to learn more about your deployment or gather additional information for the Registry. These could be about topics ranging from requests to complete follow-up questions based on the information you initially provided or VA’s response after you have requested an eligibility review.

If you have received a new message, you will see a notification banner at the top of your screen when you log into the app that reads: “You have a new message. Click here to view.” You can access the messages either by (1) selecting here in the notification’s message, or (2) by selecting Messages in the upper right corner of your screen. You will go to a screen that shows your message, the date and the sender. If you reviewed a new message, the notification banner will disappear, but you can always review the message by selecting Messages again at the top of your screen.

A duplicate of the message you received in the app will also be sent to the personal email you provided in you Contact Information section. You cannot reply to a message within the app, but you can always reply via your personal email to the VA department’s email that sent the message.

What does the phrase “overlapping deployment dates” mean?

Overlapping deployment dates are deployment dates that share some period of time. For example, if one has a deployment listed as beginning March 15, 2007, and ending September 15, 2007, other deployments that fall within that timeframe are cases of overlapping deployment dates. That is, if two different deployments share some period of time, this is a case of overlapping deployment dates. You cannot have two distinct deployments that occur during the same period of time for the purposes of this registry.

One exception to this rule is that it is okay to have overlapping deployment dates of one day. For example, it is okay to have your deployment history reflect that you were in Kuwait and Iraq on the same day and as you made the transition from one country to the next. This logic is applicable to all eligible locations.

I cannot find the name of the base to which I deployed. What should I do?

When adding a Deployment: Choose the country to which you deployed, and select the entry with a blank base name. Later in the questionnaire, you can enter the base name.

When answering the questionnaire I received this message: “Base name not found in our list. Try a different spelling or submit a new base name.” The list of bases that VA has is limited. If you served during Desert Shield or Desert Storm, in Kuwait or Djibouti, your base name will likely not be available on the drop-down list. The list of bases available to select from the drop-down menu in the questionnaire is not a comprehensive list. In the event you cannot find the base name in which you served on, check your spelling. If still not shown in the list, simply type in your missing base name.

May I be seen by a Veterans Health Administration (VHA) or Department of Defense (DoD) health care provider?

If you are experiencing any urgent symptoms, such as difficulty breathing or chest pains, you should go to the nearest emergency room, call 911, or contact your primary care manager for instructions.

Veterans: Veterans who are enrolled in VA health care and are seeking medical evaluations should contact their primary health care provider or Patient Aligned Care Teams (PACT). Veterans not enrolled in VA health care should contact a VA Environmental Health Coordinator near them by visiting the following link: http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/coordinators.asp

Active Duty (Active Duty Servicemembers, including activated Reserve and Guard personnel): If you have any non-urgent health or exposure concerns, you may contact your local military hospital or clinic to schedule an appointment for a voluntary medical evaluation. You should state that you are calling for an appointment specifically to address “health concerns related to the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry exposures.” DoD will provide you with a voluntary medical evaluation upon request. Please note a medical evaluation is NOT required to be in the registry.

Reserve Component members (Army and Air National Guard, and Reserve): Whether discharged or still serving, you are eligible for a no-cost VA health care evaluation, just like other Veterans. If you are a Veteran or inactive/separated National Guard or Reservist, are not enrolled in the VA Health Care System and would like to schedule a no-cost medical evaluation, please contact a VA Environmental Health Coordinator in your area by visiting this link: http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/coordinators.asp

Do I need to participate in the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry to submit a claim for disability compensation through VA?

Veterans do not need to participate in the Registry to submit a claim for disability compensation. The Registry and the disability compensation processes are separate and not related. Veterans can find information on how to submit a claim for disability compensation through VA at the following link: http://www.benefits.va.gov/compensation

After completing the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry, how do I schedule a no-cost medical evaluation?

If you are a Veteran, you may choose to schedule an initial no-cost, in-person medical evaluation.

If you are registered in the VA health care system, please contact your primary health care provider or your Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) to schedule a medical evaluation.

If you are not registered in the VA health care system, please contact an environmental health coordinator near you. You may find a list of environmental health coordinators at the following link by state: www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/coordinators.asp.

Active Duty (Active Duty Servicemembers, including activated Reserve and Guard personnel): If you have any non-urgent health or exposure concerns, you may contact your local military hospital or clinic to schedule an appointment for a voluntary medical evaluation. You should state that you are calling for an appointment specifically to address “health concerns related to the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry exposures.” DoD will provide you with a voluntary medical evaluation upon request. Please note a medical evaluation is not required to be in the Registry.

Reserve Component members (Army and Air National Guard, and Reserve): Whether discharged or still serving, you are eligible for a no-cost VA health care evaluation, just like other Veterans. If you are a Veteran or inactive/separated National Guard or Reservist, are not registered in the VA health care system and would like to schedule a no-cost medical evaluation, please contact a VA environmental health coordinator in your area by visiting this link: www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/coordinators.asp

What are follow-up questions, and how can I access and answer them?

Depending on how you answered some questions when you initially completed the questionnaire, VA may send you more questions requesting details about your answers.

If you are asked to complete follow-up questions, you will receive a message notification, and you will see that a Follow-up Questions heading appears in the menu bar at the top of the screen. Select Follow-up Questions from your menu. You will go to a screen with questions that are based upon the previous answers you provided. Select the header for the question you would like to answer, and answer the questions as you did for the main questionnaire.

A duplicate of the message you received in the app will also be sent to the personal email you provided in you Contact Information section. You cannot reply to a message within the app, but you can always reply via your personal email to the VA department’s email that sent the message.

Can I print or email a copy of my questionnaire?

Yes, everyone who completes the self-assessment questionnaire will have the opportunity to print a copy of their completed questionnaire as long as individuals have printer capability.

When I visited the registry website, I saw a message that said "Maintenance In Progress." Why was the site not available?

We periodically perform maintenance and install updates on the website. We make every effort to get the site back up and running as quickly as possible.

How do I log out of the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry?

Select the Logout button at the upper right corner of the screen.

What do I do if I need additional information or help?

You can find answers to additional questions regarding the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry on the site at http://mobilehealth.va.gov/app/burn-pit-registry. A Quick Start Guide, Slideshow and User Manual for the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry can be found on mobilehealth.va.gov/training. Additional FAQs about the Registry can be found at: https://veteran.mobilehealth.va.gov/AHBurnPitRegistry/index.html#page/faq.

If you need assistance with the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry, dial 1-877-470-5947 to speak with a VA representative. The Help Desk is open weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT. For TTY assistance, dial 711.

How do I participate in the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry?

If you are an eligible Active Duty Servicemember or Veteran, you can participate in the Registry by completing a web-based health questionnaire about your exposures to certain environmental hazards and overall health. To participate in the Registry, you must have a DS Logon Level 2 (Premium) Account. If you have questions about your DS Logon account, visit mobilehealth.va.gov/dslogon or dial 1-800-983-0937 for assistance.

From the front page of the Registry https://veteran.mobilehealth.va.gov/AHBurnPitRegistry/, you will be required to enter your DS Logon Level 2 (Premium) Account information in order to log in. Once you have logged in, you must complete the entire questionnaire. After you have submitted your questionnaire, your information will be incorporated into the Registry. You can print and save your completed questionnaire for your records.