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C&P Asthma/tobacco use question?

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Apache

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No, it wont "disqualify" you for receiving a rating for asthma.  

The VA must use "the critieria".  The critieria are the 3 Caluza elements, and, if you have those, you should win.  Lacking any one of them, however, will disqualify you from receiving SC.  

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Of course, if a doc makes an unfavorable opinion, attributing your asthma to cigarettes instead of an in service event, you will need to over come that for SC.  One way to overcome an unfavorable c and p exam, is for you to hire an IMO to provide a more favorable opinion, that is, that your asthma is related to an in service event, not to cigarette/ecigs use.  

I have no idea what a doctor will opine, my guess is that he will provide an opinion most closely related to the facts.  

Do you have "an event in service or aggravation" that caused asthma?  If you do, what is it?  

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Thanks for all the replies 

The in service events that I have are burn pit exposer (iraq, afghanistan and a undisclosed location), actually being around local nationals as they burn there trash and sandstorms. 

Also, my tobacco use is very minimal to say the least....

v/r

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Hi Apache, good advise from Hamslice and Bronc. You have two choices; wait for the decision, or try to get another IMO from  a specialist and submit as additional evidence that it was attributable from the burn pit exposure. Pros and cons to that: if you can submit before your decision is made, they have to consider. It will, of course delay your claim because of the process. The VA can also receive it and "reconsider" your new medical evidence, but refute it and still deny your disability claim. If that happens, then to appeal, you would have to come up with new/additional evidence to counter their decision. At this late in the review process, you may be better served to wait and see what they decide. If it is denied, then you can get an "expert" opinion and probably have a better chance of winning by appeal. That would probably be what I would do at this stage.

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There have been some Burn pit awards at the BVA:

In part:

"The Veteran contends that his trachea cancer is related to active service, specifically as a result of in-service exposure to burn pits while in combat in Iraq.  The medical evidence is in relative equipoise as to whether this disability is related to service.  On the one hand, Dr. H. G., the Veteran’s thoracic surgeon, confirmed in March 2017 that the Veteran had been diagnosed as having trachea cancer which required surgical removal (performed by Dr. H. G. earlier that same month in March 2017), post-surgical radiation treatment, and resulted in vocal cord paralysis.  Although Dr. H. G. acknowledged in his opinion that no specific cause for trachea cancer had been identified in the general population based on the small number of cases seen, he noted that environmental exposure could not be excluded as a cause.  Critically, Dr. H. G. opined that, based on the Veteran’s “unusual individual exposure,” it was as likely as not that the Veteran’s in-service exposure to burn pits while in Iraq caused or contributed to his trachea cancer.  On the other hand, the VA examiner subsequently opined in May 2017 that it was less likely than not that the Veteran’s in-service exposure to burn pits in Iraq caused or contributed to his trachea cancer.  Resolving all reasonable doubt in the Veteran’s favor, the Board concludes that the record evidence sufficiently supports finding that the Veteran’s trachea cancer is related to his in-service exposure to burn pits while in combat in Iraq.  See 38 C.F.R. §§ 3.102, 3.303, 3.304.  In summary, the Board finds that service connection for trachea cancer, including as due to in-service exposure to burn pits, is warranted."

 

https://www.va.gov/vetapp19/files4/19128164.txt

 

and in part:

“The Veteran has claimed entitlement to service connection for diabetes mellitus, sleep apnea, and shortness of breath.  He also claims service connection for memory loss to include as related to the sleep apnea.  One of the Veteran's theories of entitlement is that the disorders were caused by his exposure to smoke from a burn pit in Balad Air Base during his active service in 2005.  He maintains that associated symptoms began following that period of active service.

 

As explained by a Bioenvironmental Engineering Flight Commander in a December 2006 risk assessment memorandum pertaining to the burn pits at Balad Air Base, Iraq, the smoke hazards were associated with burning: plastics, Styrofoam, paper, wood, rubber, POL (petroleum, oil, lubricants) products, non-medical waste, some metals, some chemicals (paints, solvents, etcetera) and incomplete combustion products. 

 

The author of the memorandum noted that the solid wastes burned contain materials that can create hazardous compounds, and noted that a list of possible contaminants included: acetaldehyde, acrolein, arsenic, benzene, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, dichlorofluoromethane, ethylbenzene, formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen chloride, hydrogen fluoride, various metals, nitrogen dioxide, phosgene, sulfuric acid, sulfur dioxide.  The author noted that many of these chemical compounds had been found during past air sampling.  The author opined that there was an acute health hazard and the possibility for chronic disorder health hazards associated with the smoke.

 

In addition, given the nature of the Veteran's active service in 2005 in Southwest Asia, provisions of specific legislation enacted to assist veterans of the Persian Gulf War, are applicable regarding symptoms of any undiagnosed illnesses.  Under the provisions of specific legislation enacted to assist veterans of the Persian Gulf War, service connection may be established for a qualifying chronic disability which became manifest either during active service in the Southwest Asia theater of operations during the Persian Gulf War or to a degree of 10 percent or more not later than December 31, 2011.  38 U.S.C.A. § 1117; 38 C.F.R. § 3.317(a)(1)(i).”

“ORDER

 

Service connection for rhinitis is granted.

 

A disability rating of 30 percent for gastroesophageal reflux disease since January 11, 2010 is granted, subject to the statutes and regulations governing the payment of monetary awards.”

Other disabilities were on remand. I dont think the GERD was attributed to burn pits but the rhinitis was.

https://www.va.gov/vetapp15/files4/1532266.txt

The Balad Iraq assessment could potentially help other vets- and maybe there have been more assessments ,available on the net.

 

 

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