Certain veterans can participate in a VA health registry and receive free medical examinations, including laboratory and other diagnostic tests deemed necessary by an examining clinician. VA maintains health registries to provide special health examinations and health-related information. To participate, contact the nearest VA health care facility or visit: http://www.va.gov/environagents/.
Gulf War Registry: For Veterans who served on active military duty in Southwest Asia during the Gulf War, which began in 1990 and continues to the present, including Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). The Gulf War registry was established after the first Gulf War to identify possible diseases resulting from U.S. military personnel service in certain areas of Southwest Asia. These diseases were endemic to the area or may have been due to hazardous exposures, including heavy metals. Furthermore, air pollutants, i.e., carbon monoxide sulfur oxides, hydrocarbons, particulate matter, and nitrogen oxides, singly or in combination, could have caused chronic health problems.
Depleted Uranium Registries: Depleted uranium is natural uranium leftover after most of the U-235 isotope has been removed, such as that used as fuel in nuclear power plants. DU possesses about 60 percent of the radioactivity of natural uranium; it is a radiation hazard primarily if internalized, such as in shrapnel, contaminated wounds, and inhalation. In addition to its radioactivity, DU has some chemical toxicity related to being a heavy metal (similar to lead).
Veterans who are identified by the Department of Defense (DoD) or have concerns about possible depleted uranium exposure are eligible for a DU evaluation. VA maintains two registries for Veterans possibly exposed to depleted uranium. The first is for Veterans who served in the Gulf War, including Operation Iraqi Freedom. The second is for Veterans who served elsewhere, including Bosnia and Afghanistan.
Agent Orange Registry: For Veterans possibly exposed to dioxin or other toxic substances in herbicides used during the Vietnam War between 1962 and 1975, regardless of length of service; exposure on land in Vietnam, or on a ship operating on the inland waterways of Vietnam between Jan. 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975; service along the demilitarized zone in Korea between April 1, 1968 and Aug. 31, 1971; possible exposure on or near the perimeters of military bases in Thailand between Feb. 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975; or possible exposure due to herbicides tests and storage at military bases in the United States and locations in other countries. DoD has provided a list of locations and dates where herbicides, including Agent Orange, were used. This DoD list is available at www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures. For those sites not listed, the Veteran should provide some proof of exposure to obtain a registry examination. Information is also available through VA’s Special Issues Helpline at 1-800-749-8387.
Ionizing Radiation Registry: For Veterans possibly exposed to and who are concerned about possible adverse effects of their atomic exposure during the following activities – On-site participation in: an atmospheric detonation of a nuclear device, whether or not the testing nation was the United States; occupation of Hiroshima or Nagasaki from Aug. 6, 1945, through July 1, 1946; or internment as a POW in Japan during World War II, which the Secretary of Veterans Affairs determines resulted in an opportunity for exposure to ionizing radiation comparable to that of Veterans involved in the occupation of Hiroshima or Nagasaki. In addition, VA regulations provide that “radiation-risk activity” refers to service at: Department of Energy gaseous diffusion plants at Paducah, Ky., Portsmouth, Ohio; or the K-25 area at Oak Ridge, Tennessee for at least 250 days before Feb. 1, 1992. If the Veteran was monitored for each of the 250 days using dosimetry badges to monitor radiation to external body parts or if the Veteran served for at least 250 days in a position that had exposures comparable to a job that was monitored using dosimetry badges in proximity to: Longshot, Milrow or Cannikin underground nuclear tests at Amchitka Island, Alaska, before Jan. 1, 1974 or Veterans in receipt of nasopharyngeal (NP) – nose and throat – radium irradiation treatments while in the active military, naval, or air service.