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Brian Bienkowski – Burn Pits: The New ‘Agent Orange’ That the Media Has Failed to Expose

The U.S. media has failed to expose the civilian toll of recent wars by largely ignoring burn pits’ toxic effects on local people, a U.S. researcher argues in a new report, suggesting the burn pits are this generation’s Agent Orange.

The coverage gap helps legitimize war and overlooks the undeniable humanitarian impacts, said Eric Bonds, an assistant professor of sociology and researcher at the University of Mary Washington.

During the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, things such as plastics, Styrofoam, electronics and unexploded weapons were burned in large pits, sending toxics into the air and people’s lungs. Bonds surveyed major U.S. newspapers [3] from 2007 to 2014, and found that of 49 stories that mentioned wartime burn pits, only one mentioned civilian impacts on par with that of soldiers.

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