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Lung ailments in US troops

Research Achievements

Lung ailments in US troops

There is an increased prevalence of lung ailments in US personnel stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Exposure to dust is thought to play a critical role. A team consisting of trainees Harrington and Schmidt; mentors Reeder, Schoonen, and Tsirka, and doctors Szema (Stony Brook School of Medicine), Lyles (Naval War College), as well as Brookhaven National Laboratory scientist Lanzirotti, initiated a multidisciplinary program to study this problem. Studies of dust samples obtained from Iraq show that iron is readily mobilized from the dust particles. Cellular assays show that the Iraqi dust leads to inflammatory stress in epithelial cells. Synchrotron-based analysis of particles embedded in human lung tissue show the presence of titanium and iron in ratios that do no match know iron-titanium minerals, which indicates that iron may be preferentially leached from inhaled iron-titanium minerals. More samples are currently being examined to substantiate the preliminary findings.