Health effects of the 1991 Kuwait oil fires: A survey of US army troops

Bruno P. Petruccelli, Mary Goldenbaum, Brian Scott, Richard Lachiver, Devesh Kanjarpane, Elizabeth Elliott, Marcie Francis, Melissa A. McDiarmid, David Deeter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The burning of oil wells in Kuwait in 1991 discharged a high volume of potentially toxic pollutants into the air. To determine whether there were health-related complaints associated with having lived and worked there, questionnaires were administered to 1599 soldiers after their return from a 3-month mission in Kuwait. Symptoms occurring before, during, and after the mission were queried. Compared with baseline, symptoms reported more frequently for the Kuwait period were eye and upper respiratory tract irritation, shortness of breath, cough, rashes, and fatigue. Symptoms were associated with reported proximity to oil fires, and their incidence generally decreased after the soldiers left Kuwait. Oil-fire smoke is one of several possible factors that may have contributed to the reporting of symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-439
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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