New Toxic Exposure Screening

Have you heard about the new toxic exposure screening? If you’re enrolled in VA health care, you can now receive the toxic exposure screening at VA medical centers and clinics across the country. If you’re not enrolled but meet eligibility requirements to enroll, you will have an opportunity to receive the screening after you enroll.

During your screening, you’ll be asked if you believe you experienced toxic exposures during your military service. If you answer yes, you may be connected to support and resources, including a review by your primary care team or provider.

Get to know the process

As the screening becomes a regular part of your health care, you may have some questions. Here are some quick facts to get to know the process:

  • It’s quick. The screening is a series of questions that takes around 5-10 minutes and can occur as part of one of your regular health care appointments.
  • It documents a variety of exposures. There are several types of possible exposures or hazards you may have experienced during your military service. This includes open burn pits and airborne hazards, Gulf War-related exposures, Agent Orange, radiation, Camp Lejeune contaminated water exposure and others.
  • It helps support your long-term care plan. The purpose of the toxic exposure screening is to make your VA health care team aware of any potential exposures to toxins during your military service. This allows for ongoing care that ensures early diagnosis and treatment of any health concerns that may arise in the future related to your exposure(s). If you report a potential toxic exposure, it will be noted in your health record. Your primary care team will be made aware of your concerns and will connect you with resources to address your follow-up questions.
  • You’ll receive additional information. After your screening, you will also receive information about benefits, registry exams, and clinical resources to address any concerns you may have.
  • You can ask about the toxic exposure screening at your next VA health care appointment. If you do not have an upcoming appointment or want to be screened sooner, contact your local VA facility and ask to be screened by the Toxic Exposure Screening Navigator.
  • You’ll be screened at least once every 5 years. Even if you don’t have concerns today, you may in the future. This helps keep your records up to date and ensures exposure concerns are part of your long-term care plan.
  • You can decline. If you choose not to be screened, you will have the option to decline until the following year.

Important Dates in December

Dec. 7 – National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day: Remember to fly your American Flag at half staff from sunrise to sunset

Dec. 13 – U.S. National Guard birthday

Dec. 18 – National Wreaths Across America
Dec. 25 – Christmas Day
Till next week, praying for all service members.
– Charles Castelluccio