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J Occup Environ Med. 2012 Jun;54(6):682-8. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e318255ba39.

Prospective assessment of chronic multisymptom illness reporting possibly associated with open-air burn pit smoke exposure in Iraq.

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Deployment Health Research Department, Naval Health Research Center, 140 Sylvester Road, San Diego CA 92106, USA.



To investigate the relationship between chronic multisymptom illness (CMI) and possible exposure to an open-air burn pit at three selected bases among those deployed to operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Chronic multisymptom illness (reporting at least one symptom in at least two of the following symptom constructs: general fatigue; mood and cognition problems; and musculoskeletal discomfort) was assessed, differentiating by potential burn pit exposure, among deployers who completed 2004 and 2007 Millennium Cohort questionnaires.


More than 21,000 Cohort participants were deployed in support of the current operations, including more than 3000 participants with at least one deployment within a 3-mile radius of a documented burn pit. After adjusting for covariates, no elevated risk of CMI was observed among those exposed.


There was no increase in CMI symptom reporting in those deployed to three selected bases with documented burn pits compared with other deployers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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