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Environmental Exposures

Photo of service member in uniform with gas mask on for training

The Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) play distinct roles in dealing with chemical and biological (CB) exposures and are responsible for developing DOD deployment occupational and environmental health surveillance, risk assessment and risk management policies. DOD identifies and validates veteran’s exposure to CB agents and monitors deployment-related exposure incidents and trends. This ensures effective programs are in place to prevent occupational and environmental injuries or illnesses during deployment.

The Public Health Division collaborates with their DOD partners and the VA on long-term medical care and benefits for our service members. The division also provides the names of these individuals along with their exposure information to the VA. The VA then notifies individuals of their potential exposure, provides treatment, if necessary, for these individuals and adjudicates any claim for compensation.

These combined efforts are shaping the future of military medicine by supporting enhanced individual exposure assessment methods.  The Public Health Division partners with federal research institutes on many projects to include:

  • Development of exposure biomarkers
  • Individual chemical dosimeters 
  • Individual Longitudinal Exposure Records

This page is designed to provide Service members, veterans, their families and the public with information on what happened during CB testing conducted years ago that potentially affected the health of those who served. It provides information on the tests conducted by DOD that possibly resulted in CB exposures only. For privacy reasons, it does not contain the names of the veterans exposed.

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Global Emerging Infections Surveillance and Reporting System Update


Global Emerging Infections Surveillance and Reporting System Update to the Defense Health Board May 23, 2007

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Global Influenza Surveillance briefing for the Defense Health Board May 3, 2007

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Program Areas CBRN Protection

Fact Sheet

The Medical Countermeasures (MCM) Directorate assists in protecting U.S. forces that are globally engaged and at potentially increased risk to being exposed to naturally occurring substances or encountering manufactured chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) agents that adversaries may seek to use against them.

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Coordination of Policy to Establish a Joint Theater Trauma Registry


Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report: GA-04-410


Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report: GA)-04-410, “DoD Needs to Continue to Collect and Provide Information on Tests and on Potentially Exposed Personnel”.

Medical Surveillance Information Management Strategy for Force Health Protection


Senate Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Personnel, Prepare Statement of Dr. William Winkenwerder, Jr., Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, on Shipboard Hazard and Defense


Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Hearing: Military Exposures: The Continuing Challenges of Care and Compensation


Policy for DoD Global, Laboratory-Based Influenza Surveillance


Joint Staff Memorandum for Deployment Health Surveillance and Readiness


Effective February 1, 1999, the uniform and stardardized health surveillance and readiness procedures described in this memorandum will be adhered to for all deployments.

Policy for National Surveillance for Birth Defects Among Department of Defense (DoD) Health Care Beneficiaries


Reportable Disease Database


HA 96-019: Medical Surveillance for U.S. Forces Deploying in Support of NATO Peace Implementation in Bosnia


This memo outlines the plan for Medical Surveillance for U.S. Forces Deploying in Support of NATO Peace Implementation in Bosnia

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Last Updated: August 01, 2022

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