FOLLOWING the return of US and coalition forces from the complex environment of the Persian Gulf region during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm and the operational conditions of the military deployment, a variety of health effects have been reported. Many troops were exposed to potentially adverse substances and experiences present in this wartime environment, fumes and smoke from military operations, oil well fires, diesel exhaust, toxic paints, pesticides, sand, depleted uranium, infectious agents, chemoprophylactic agents, and multiple immunizations; some troops are convinced they were exposed to chemical or biological weapons. Few combat casualties occurred, but substantial transient gastrointestinal and respiratory symptoms were seen during the troop buildup and immediately after the short conflict. Since then, there have been increasing reports of illness from troops who were participants in these operations, and many attribute their health problems to these experiences. Many of the cases include combinations of nonspecific symptoms of
Green GM, Gordis L, Bingham E, et al. The Persian Gulf Experience and Health. JAMA. 1994;272(5):391–396. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520050071033
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