Representative August Pfluger, R-Texas, recently submitted a new bill for legislative consideration designed to require the Department of Veterans Affairs to examine toxic exposures and potential links to cancers among the ranks of the military aviation community. Among the concerns are pilots and crew exposed to high-powered radar emissions and other power sources inside nose cones of fighter jets. Ground crews working on fighter jets were also exposed to such materials. Exposure to ionizing and non-ionizing radiation associated with altitude flight or airborne, ground and shipboard radars are another area of concern for air and ground crews.
A recent Air Force study noted higher incidence rates for testicular cancer, melanoma and prostate cancer, for instance, among fighter pilots and flight crews compared to non-aviation service members. Cancer clusters have also been noted at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. Those affected suffered from urological cancers according to one study and brain cancers based on another study.
The new bill aims to require VA to identify potential toxins to which the military aviation community has been exposed regardless of the cancer incidence rates for air and ground crews. The data is expected to assist aviation service members in accessing healthcare within the VA medical system.
Avard Law Offices is available to assist veterans seeking service-connected disability.