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Exposure to Mustard Gas or Lewisite

Mustard gas is a common term that may refer to two forms of mustard agents: sulphur mustard (Yperite) or nitrogen mustard. Lewisite, an organic compound containing arsenic, is another mustard agent. The VA may grant service connection for certain diseases or disabilities as the result of full-body exposure to mustard gas or Lewisite during military service.

Disabilities or diseases for which service connection may be granted by presumption due to mustard gas or Lewisite exposure are in 38 CFR 3.316(a).

Eligibility Requirements

  • You must be a Veteran who was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable
  • You must have been exposed to mustard gas in one of the following ways:
    • During field or chamber testing, OR
    • During battlefield conditions in World War I, OR
    • Present at the German air raid on the harbor of Bari, Italy in World War II OR
    • Engaged in manufacturing and handling of vesicant (blistering) agents during military service

Evidence Requirements

  • The evidence must show exposure to mustard gas during military service
  • The evidence must show one of the diseases or disabilities in 38 CFR 3.316(a) OR medical evidence that shows a relationship between a disease or disability (not in 38 CFR 3.316(a)) based on exposure to mustard gas. You must claim a disease or condition. Exposure, in and of itself, is not a condition that is subject to service connection.

The VA will request and review pertinent service records for chemical exposure.

How to Apply

For more information on how to apply and for tips on making sure your claim is ready to be processed by VA, visit our How to Apply page.

For questions related to disability compensation benefits as a result of mustard gas exposure, send an email to MUSTARDGAS@VBA.VA.GOV.