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The dangers of burn pit exposures at Forward Operating Base Marez in Mosul, Iraq, were first noticed when the U.S. military presence was at its height, but nothing was done to correct the problem, Fox News has learned.Mauritania incinerating,Ethiopia medical waste incinerator manufacturer,Tanzania china incinerator manufacturer

A former Army major, who served as the base’s environmental officer back in 2004, said he warned Marez’s top brass of the dangerous chemical compounds that were being released into the air after medical waste, chemicals and trash were thrown into open-air garbage pits and set ablaze. But, he added, his warnings fell on deaf ears.

“They weren’t very receptive when I brought it up,” retired Maj. John “Doc” Nelson said in a recent interview with Fox News’ investigative unit. “We could never get an answer.”

“I’m worried about the burn pits becoming another Vietnam or Agent Orange,” he added, “and I don’t think these vets should have to wait for 25 years for someone to recognize that there’s a problem.”

During the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan, the burn-pit disposal method was originally adopted as a temporary way to get rid of the massive amounts of waste and garbage generated at numerous bases. A range of materials went to the pits for incineration: plastics, batteries, appliances, medicine, dead animals, even human waste. The items were often set ablaze with jet fuel as the accelerant.

The incineration generated numerous pollutants including carbon monoxide and dioxin — the same chemical compound found in Agent Orange, which left many Vietnam vets sick after it was used as a defoliant in that conflict.South Sudan insinerator,Mali incinerators animal,Djibouti clover medical ltd

The 65-year-old Nelson says that he was able to see the dangers of the burn pits while serving at FOB Marez.

“It would literally darken the sky,” he said, recalling the large plumes of smoke that rose from the pit and hung over the base.

“I remember one day, I was standing back about 300 feet. I could still see the flames rising above the pit.”

Nelson alleges that the trash piled up at his base’s burn pit over the two years that he was there, and that the smoldering fires almost never went out.

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