US soldiers with lead poisoning get medical runaround

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US soldiers with lead poisoning get medical runaround

Post by CielOnTap » Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:26 pm

Spotted this news item via Twitter:
Lead exposure is a known hazard of military service: The United States armed forces have fired billions of rounds of ammunition containing the toxic material since entering Afghanistan in October 2001. Troops are exposed to the metal while shooting indoors and outside; gathering shell casings; smoking, chewing tobacco or eating on ranges; cleaning their weapons; and living and fighting in polluted environments. But lead monitoring and testing programs at the Defense Department have focused primarily on service members who work on firing ranges and on the civilian staff at ranges, who are regulated by Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines. Defense Department policy requires service members who may be exposed to high levels of airborne lead for 30 or more days a year to get a blood test for lead, with follow-up tests at least annually. ... diers.html

The issue for US military is that only one segment of the army gets actively tested for lead, while other segments that experience illness and symptoms get misdiagnosed, accused of faking their illnesses or not understood.

As with any serious condition, the longer the time elapse between the onset of symptoms and actual diagnosis, the more likely that treatment will be hampered by any delays and possibly not resolve or stabilize the health condition. Sometimes healthcare providers are more in alignment with policies and monetary pressures than the patients seeking their help with health matters.
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