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Burn Pits: The "Agent Orange" of the Iraq War

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Ambient Sampling from Iraq and measuring Particulate Matter

During the 1-year ambient sampling from Iraq, all samples from the six military bases surpassed both particulate matter size(s) 10 and 2.5 annually and within 24-hours according to the World Health Organization (WHO) safety exposure guidelines.


All bases in Iraq except Al Asad Air Base met and exceeded PM₁₀ safety guidelines established by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at levels as high as 300 µg/m3, twice the recommended exposure. According to the Military Exposure Guidelines, Camp Victory (Baghdad), Camp Adder (Tallil) and Camp Speicher (Tikrit) met or exceeded their PM₁₀ guidelines.

All six bases in Iraq exceeded the WHO 24-hour and annual PM₂.₅ exposure guidelines, and EPA and MEG annual guidelines.

Four of the six bases exceeded EPA and MEG 24-hour guidelines.


Engelbrecht, J., McDonald, E., Gillies, J., Jayanty, R., Casuccio, G., Gertler, A. (2008) Desert Research Institute (DRI), Reno, Nevada "Characterizing Mineral Dusts and Other Aerosols from the Middle East – Part 1: Ambient Sampling" - [email protected]