Skip main navigation

Military Health System

Clear Your Browser Cache

This website has recently undergone changes. Users finding unexpected concerns may care to clear their browser's cache to ensure a seamless experience.

Marines with combined anti-armor team conduct weapon familiarization training June 3 at the North Training Area at Combined Arms Training Center Camp Fuji. It was the first time for many of the Marines to fire the AT-4 light anti-armor weapon. The Marines are with the CAAT of Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, which is currently assigned to 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, under the unit deployment program. The combat correspondent captured the photo at a shutter speed of 1/160th of a second, creating a multiple-exposure effect of the AT-4 gunner, as well as capturing the dust being shaken from the Marines’ helmets as a result of the shockwave created from the concussion of the weapon’s back-blast. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Adam B. Miller/Released)
Skip subpage navigation

Low-Level Blast Exposure

Low-level blast is the blast generated from firing heavy weapons systems or explosives in combat or training environments. LLB exposure is not the same as concussion or traumatic brain injury. Exposure doesn't typically result in a clinically diagnosable concussion/mild traumatic brain injury.

Low-level blast exposure may cause:

  • Concentration problems
  • Irritability
  • Memory problems
  • Slowed thinking/slow reaction time
  • Decreased hand-eye coordination
  • Difficulty hearing
  • Headaches
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)

Low-level blast examples:

Military occupations and heavy weapon systems that may expose service members to low-level blast include:

  • Armor, artillery and gunnery
  • Breaching charges
  • Shoulder mounted weapons
  • Explosive ordinance disposal
  • Military instructor training
  • .50 caliber weapons
  • Indirect fire weapons

Research is still emerging on the potential health effects of low-level blast exposure. It's important to recognize the signs and report your symptoms if they persist. Medical providers and service members can learn more about LLB and TBI from TBICoE's fact sheets, short video, and infographic.

You also may be interested in...

Last Updated: March 07, 2024
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on X Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery