The armed forces of the United States currently have over 13,000 aircraft in operation. The brave men and women who fly, fuel and clean these aircraft are exposed to some very harsh chemicals. There are a variety of cleaners, like the trichloroacetic acid (TA) solution and the methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) solvent, that can be hazardous to the lungs. Many individuals on the flight line are exposed to these chemicals every time a jet has to be cleaned.
Not only are these cleaners dangerous, the actual fuel that goes into the jets also contains harmful agents like Benzene. If you were exposed to these chemicals during your time in the military, you might be eligible for VA disability compensation. Read below to find out more about jet fuel exposure and the long-term problems it can cause.
Health Problems Associated With Exposure to Jet Fuel
The health problems that come as a result of jet fuel exposure depend heavily on how this exposure occurs. Jet fuel exposure can be classified into three basic categories; breathing, oral and skin exposure. Other factors come into play when discussing the effects of exposure, like how long the exposure occurred and various personal details like a person’s gender, age and genetic makeup.
While very little is known about the types of jet fuel used by the military, many experts agree that nervous system damage is among the most common side effect of long-term exposure. Various studies have been performed on animals in laboratories to find out more long-term effects of jet-fuel exposure. During these studies, scientists found that prolonged exposure to jet fuel caused skin problems, hearing issues, immune response delays and neurological problems.
The VA public health warnings for jet fuel exposure also include problems like:
· Difficult breathing
· Eye irritation
· Skin irritation
· Lung/heart problems
How Veterans Are Commonly Exposed to Jet Fuel
A number of veterans have been exposed to jet fuel and have deal with the harmful effects of this exposure. The most severe problems occur in veterans who worked directly with jet fuel, but there are other types of exposure. For instance, veterans that lived close to areas where jet fuel was spilled were exposed to harmful fumes.
There have also been cases where veterans became sick after drinking water that was contaminated with jet fuel. Veterans who transported jet fuel without wearing protective clothing also experience severe skin irritation.
Jet Fuel Exposure and the VA Service Connection
Since there is no presumption of service when it comes to jet fuel exposure, veterans have to establish a service connection to qualify for VA disability benefits. Proving this service connection requires documentation of an in-service event or a qualifying medical diagnosis. A well-written and detailed Nexus letter linking the current health problems a veteran is experiencing to their exposure to jet fuel while serving in the military can be helpful when trying to get VA disability compensation.
If you are currently dealing with health problems caused by jet fuel exposure, it is time to get an independent medical opinion to use in your fight to get the compensation you deserve.