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Last updated on Friday, March 20, 2009
(UNDATED) - Indiana Senator Evan Bayh is proposing legislation to guarantee lifelong VA care for soldiers exposed to toxic chemicals during wartime military service.
The proposal is in response to a 2003 incident where Indiana National Guard Soldiers who were exposed to a deadly carcinogen while guarding an Iraqi water treatment plant.
On-site workers for military contractor KBR alleged the company knowingly exposed American Military Personnel to unnecessary health risks.
Bayh's legislation is modeled after the government's VA registry for agent orange exposure during the Vietnam war.
If soldiers who were exposed to the defoliant came down with certain kinds conditions, then it was assumed it was related to their service.
They didn't bear the burden of proving the cause, which sped up their ability to receive medical attention.
Senator Bayh says the proposal also outlines the need for better communication between private contractors and the military about the presence of hazardous materials.
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