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The smog of war: Burn pits and the poisoning of America's soldiers

Feb 20 2016

They burned anything and everything - Styrofoam, plastics, treated wood, batteries, medical waste, paint thinner, human body parts - anything that was considered trash was disposed of in these burn pits. It was estimated that well over a thousand different toxins and carcinogens were released into the air.

Veteran Joseph Hickman links the US military's policy of burning the toxic waste of war in open air "burn pits" across Iraq and Afghanistan to the deadly poisoning of soldiers and civilian populations, and explains how the government and private contractors pass the blame back and forth, denying responsibility for their negligent policies and aid for those affected by them.

Joseph is author of the new book The Burn Pits: The Poisoning of America's Soldiers from Hot Books Press.

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Joseph Hickman

Joseph Hickman is a former soldier and currently an independent researcher and Senior Research Fellow at Seton Hall Law School’s Center for Policy and Research.


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