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War Related Illness and Injury Study Center

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Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Veterans (Complex Exposures)

Complex Exposure Threats Center (CETC)

Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Specialist

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Service Members and Veterans have made a commitment to develop better ways to assess and understand their occupational health concerns. The EOD community are critical partners in the development of CETC and represent an ideal group to evaluate for the following reasons:

  • First people to encounter new weapons (first responders)

  • Encounter multiple routes of exposure (i.e., dermal, inhalation, ingestion) as well as multiple exposure domains (i.e., Chemical/Biological/Radiological/ Nuclear (CBRN); Improvise Explosive Device (IED), unexploded ordnance (UXO) disposal), combat and physical stressors, injuries (i.e., blast)

  • High Operating tempo (OPTEMPO) and training environment with higher frequency of exposures

  • High level of medical surveillance (i.e., repeated surveillance physical exams)

  • EOD selection and screening process reduces number of comorbid factors (healthier initial population)

  • Access to detailed internal incident records

CETC is initiating a series of studies that builds directly on the WRIISC’s success as host of the only VHA program specializing in EOD Veterans. These studies will integrate exposure interviews, home-based biomarker estimation, focus group assessment of exposures, field assessment of exposures using wearable sensors and other projects looking at the application of incident reports for exposure characterization.