More Agent Orange Update

Discussion in 'Vietnam Memories Forum' started by Guest, Mar 6, 2003.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Senior Chief Moderator III
    Posts: 122
    (5/7/01 10:29:32 pm)
    | Del All More Agent Orange Update
    This was sent to me today by my brother. He had received this in the mail on Saturday from the VA. If this IS NOT new will someone please advise me.

    Federal Register: January 11, 2001 {Volume 66, Number 8}
    [Proposed Rules]
    {Page 2376-2380}
    From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []



    38 CFR Part 3

    RIN 2900-AK63

    Disease Associated With Exposure to Certain Herbicide Agents:
    Type 2 Diabetes

    AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs.

    ACTION: Proposed rule.


    SUMMARY: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is proposing to amend
    its adjudication regulations concerning presumptive service connection
    for certain diseases for which there is no record during service. This
    proposed amendment is necessary to implement a decision of the
    Secretary of Veterans Affairs under the authority granted by the Agent
    Orange Act of 1991 that there is a positive association between
    exposure to herbicides used in the Republic of Vietnam during the
    Vietnam era and the subsequent development of Type 2 diabetes. The
    intended effect of this proposed amendment is to establish presumptive
    service connection for that condition based on herbicide exposure.

    [[Page 2377]]

    DATES: Comments must be received on or before March 12, 2001.

    ADDRESSES: Mail or hand-deliver written comments to: Director, Office
    of Regulations Management (02D), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810
    Vermont Ave., NW., Room 1154, Washington, DC 20420; or fax comments to
    (202) 273-9289; or e-mail comments to
    Comments should indicate that they are submitted in response to ``RIN
    2900-AK63.'' All comments received will be available for public
    inspection in the Office of Regulations Management, Room 1158, between
    the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (except

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bill Russo, Regulations Staff,
    Compensation and Pension Service, Veterans Benefits Administration,
    Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue, NW., Washington, DC
    20420, telephone (202) 273-7210.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 3 of the Agent Orange Act of 1991,
    Pub. L. 102-4, 105 Stat. 11, directed the Secretary to seek to enter
    into an agreement with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to review
    and summarize the scientific evidence concerning the association
    between exposure to herbicides used in support of military operations
    in the Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam era and each disease
    suspected to be associated with such exposure. Congress mandated that
    NAS determine, to the extent possible: (1) Whether there is a
    statistical association between the suspect diseases and herbicide
    exposure, taking into account the strength of the scientific evidence
    and the appropriateness of the methods used to detect the association;
    (2) the increased risk of disease among individuals exposed to
    herbicides during service in the Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam
    era; and (3) whether there is a plausible biological mechanism or other
    evidence of a causal relationship between herbicide exposure and the
    suspect disease. Section 3 of Pub. L. 102-4 also required that NAS
    submit reports on its activities every two years (as measured from the
    date of the first report) for a ten-year period.
    Section 2 of Pub. L. 102-4 provides that whenever the Secretary
    determines, based on sound medical and scientific evidence, that a
    positive association (i.e., the credible evidence for the association
    is equal to or outweighs the credible evidence against the association)
    exists between exposure of humans to an herbicide agent (i.e., a
    chemical in an herbicide used in support of the United States and
    allied military operations in the Republic of Vietnam during the
    Vietnam era) and a disease, the Secretary will publish regulations
    establishing a presumptive service connection for that disease.
    Presumptive service connection relaxes the evidentiary burden, so that
    the claimant need not provide direct evidence of a link between his or
    her disease and the claimant's exposure to Agent Orange. Instead, such
    a link is presumed and may be rebutted only if there is affirmative
    evidence to the contrary.
    If the Secretary determines that a presumption of service
    connection is not warranted, he is to publish a notice of that
    determination, including an explanation of the scientific basis for
    that determination. The Secretary's determination must be based on
    consideration of the NAS reports and all other sound medical and
    scientific information and analysis available to the Secretary.
    (Under Section 2 of Pub. L. 102-4, any veteran who served in
    Vietnam during the Vietnam Era and has one of the diseases on the
    presumptive list codified at 38 CFR 3.309(e), is presumed to have been
    exposed to herbicides. Under current law, the Vietnam Era is defined as
    January 9, 1962 through May 7, 1975, for the purposes of such
    presumptions. 38 U.S.C. 1116.)
    Although Pub. L. 102-4 does not define ``credible,'' it does
    instruct the Secretary to ``take into consideration whether the results
    [of any study] are statistically significant, are capable of
    replication, and withstand peer review.'' Simply comparing the number
    of studies which report a positive relative risk to the number of
    studies which report a negative relative risk for a particular
    condition is not a valid method for determining whether the weight of
    evidence overall supports a finding that there is or is not a positive
    association between herbicide exposure and the subsequent development
    of the particular condition. Because of differences in statistical
    significance, confidence levels, control for confounding factors, bias,
    and other pertinent characteristics, some studies are clearly more
    credible than others, and the Secretary has given the more credible
    studies more weight in evaluating the overall weight of the evidence
    concerning specific diseases.

    I. History of Agent Orange Presumptions

    NAS issued its initial report, entitled ``Veterans and Agent
    Orange: Health Effects of Herbicides Used in Vietnam,'' (VAO) on July
    27, 1993. The Secretary subsequently determined that a positive
    association exists between exposure to herbicides used in the Republic
    of Vietnam and the subsequent development of Hodgkin's disease,
    porphyria cutanea tarda, multiple myeloma, and certain respiratory
    cancers; and that there was no positive association between herbicide
    exposure and any other condition, other than chloracne, non-Hodgkin's
    lymphoma, and soft-tissue sarcomas, for which presumptions already
    existed. A notice of the diseases that the Secretary determined were
    not associated with exposure to herbicide agents was published on
    January 4, 1994 (see 59 FR 341-46).
    NAS issued its second report, entitled ``Veterans and Agent Orange:
    Update 1996'' (Update 1996), on March 14, 1996. The Secretary
    subsequently determined that a positive association exists between
    exposure to herbicides used in the Republic of Vietnam and the
    subsequent development of prostate cancer and acute and subacute
    peripheral neuropathy in exposed persons. The Secretary further
    determined that there was no positive association between herbicide
    exposure and any other condition, other than those for which
    presumptions already existed. A notice of the diseases that the
    Secretary determined were not associated with exposure to herbicide
    agents was published on August 8, 1996 (see 61 FR 41442-49).
    NAS issued a third report, entitled ``Veterans and Agent Orange:
    Update 1998'' {Update 1998} , on February 11, 1999. The focus of this
    updated review was on new scientific studies published since the
    release of Update 1996 and updates of scientific studies previously
    reviewed. The Secretary determined that there was no positive
    association between herbicide exposure and any condition other than
    those for which presumptions already existed. A notice of this
    determination was published on November 2, 1999 (see 64 FR 59232-

    II. History of NAS Review of Type 2 Diabetes

    In VAO, Update 1996, and Update 1998, NAS placed metabolic and
    digestive disorders (including Type 2 diabetes) in the category labeled
    ``Inadequate/Insufficient Evidence to Determine Whether an Association
    Exists.'' According to NAS, this means that the available studies are
    of insufficient quality, consistency, or statistical power to permit a
    conclusion regarding the presence or absence of an association. For
    example, studies fail to

    [[Page 2378]]

    control for confounding factors, have inadequate exposure assessments,
    or fail to address latency.
    However, after NAS released Update 1998 the National Institute of
    Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) published a report that detects
    an association, though not a strong association, between Type 2
    diabetes and dioxin exposure. The study does suggest a dose response
    relationship because of excess cases of Type 2 diabetes found in
    workers having the highest serum-lipid levels of dioxin (Calvert GM,
    Sweeney MH, Deddens J, Wall DK. 1999. Evaluation of Type 2 diabetes,
    Serum Glucose and Thyroid Function Among U.S. Workers Exposed to
    2,3,7,8 tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin. Occupational and Environmental
    Medicine 56:270-276). The Secretary concluded that the NIOSH study was
    potentially important enough that it warranted a full review by NAS as
    soon as possible, and he directed VA to amend its contract with NAS for
    the third biennial update to require a special report on herbicide
    exposure and Type 2 diabetes, as a separate deliverable.
    In February 2000, before NAS released its report on herbicide
    exposure and Type 2 diabetes, the U.S. Air Force released data from its
    study of participants in operation Ranch Hand (the crews assigned to
    spray Agent Orange from aircraft in Vietnam) (AFHS. 2000. Air Force
    Health Study: An Epidemiologic Investigation of Health Effects in Air
    Force Personnel Following Exposure to Herbicides. 1997 Follow-up
    Examination Results. Brook AFB, TX: Air Force Research Laboratory.
    AFRL-HE-BR-TR-2000-02.) On April 10, 2000, VA asked NAS to include an
    analysis of the new Ranch Hand data in its report on Type 2 diabetes.
    NAS agreed to do so.

    III. October 2000 NAS Review of Type 2 Diabetes

    NAS issued its report, ``Veterans and Agent Orange: Herbicide/
    Dioxin Exposure and Type 2 Diabetes'' (VAO: Diabetes) on October 11,
    2000. NAS concluded that ``there is limited/suggestive evidence of an
    association between exposure to the herbicides used in Vietnam or the
    contaminant dioxin and Type 2 diabetes.'' (``Type 2 diabetes'' is also
    referred to as ``Type II diabetes mellitus'' or ``adult-onset
    diabetes.'') The term ``limited/suggestive evidence'' means ``evidence
    is suggestive of an association between herbicides and the outcome, but
    limited because chance, bias, and confounding could not be ruled out
    with confidence.'' NAS based its conclusion on the totality of the
    scientific evidence on this issue, not one particular study. (VAO:

    Mortality Studies on Type 2 Diabetes

    In VAO: Diabetes, NAS noted that positive associations between
    herbicides and Type 2 diabetes are reported in many mortality studies.
    NAS stated that these may underestimate the incidence of Type 2
    diabetes because: (1) It is not typically fatal; (2) its known
    complications, as opposed to Type 2 diabetes itself, may be more likely
    to be listed as the cause of death on the death certificate; and (3)
    contributory causes of death are not routinely recorded on death
    certificates. In one mortality study reviewed by NAS, people living
    near the site of a 1976 industrial accident involving dioxin were found
    to have a higher risk of death from Type 2 diabetes than a reference
    population, in all exposure zones in which deaths were recorded.
    (Pesatori AC, Zocchetti C, Guercilena S, Consonni D, Turrini D,
    Bertazzi, PA. 1998. Dioxin exposure and non-malignant health effects: a
    mortality study. Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 55:126-131.)
    Two studies of a group of workers exposed to TCDD at 12 U.S. plants
    found positive, but non-statistically significant associations between
    measures of exposure and notations of Type 2 diabetes on death
    certificates, although the later paper also found a significant
    negative trend between Type 2 diabetes mortality and cumulative TCDD
    exposure. (Steenland K, Nowlin S, Ryan B, Adams S. 1992. Use of
    multiple-cause mortality data in epidemiological analyses: US rate and
    proportion files developed by the National Institute for Occupational
    Safety and Health and the National Cancer Institute. American Journal
    of Epidemiology 136(7):855-862; Steenland K, Piacetelli L, Deddens J,
    Fingerhut M, Chang LI. 1999. Cancer, heart disease and diabetes in
    workers exposed to 2, 3, 7, 8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin. Journal of
    the National Cancer Institute 91(9):779-786.) Another study, which
    examined workers who produced or sprayed phenoxy herbicides and
    chlorophenols, reported an elevated relative risk of mortality from
    Type 2 diabetes in exposed workers versus non-exposed referents. (Vena
    J, Boffetta P, Becher H, Benn T, Bueno-de-Mesquita HB, Coggon D, Colin
    D, Flesch-Janys D, Green L, Kauppinen T, Littorin M, Lynge E, Mathews
    JD, Neuberger M, Pearce N, Pesatori AC, Saracci R, Steenland K,
    Kogevinas M. 1998. Exposure to dioxin and nonneoplastic mortality in
    the expanded IARC international cohort study of phenoxy herbicide and
    chlorophenol production workers and sprayers. Environmental Health
    Perspectives 106 (Supplement 2):645-653.) In addition, earlier studies
    previously reviewed by NAS in and VAO, Update 1996, and Update 1998
    showed an inconsistent but weakly positive association between exposure
    measures and Type 2 diabetes.

    Morbidity Studies on Type 2 Diabetes

    In VAO: Diabetes, NAS noted that, ``Positive associations are
    reported in most of the morbidity studies identified by the [NAS
    Committee to Review the Evidence Regarding the Link Between Exposure to
    Agent Orange and Diabetes].'' NAS discussed a number of epidemiological
    studies. In a study of a population near an Arkansas plant that
    manufactured pesticides, researchers found that insulin levels were
    significantly higher in the group with high dioxin levels. The study
    authors concluded that this was evidence that dioxin may cause insulin
    resistance. (Cranmer M, Louie S, Kennedy RH, Kern PA, Fonseca VA. 2000.
    Exposure to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) is associated
    with hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance. Toxicological Sciences
    56(2): 431-436.) A survey of Australian Vietnam veterans found a
    statistically significant excess of self-reported Type 2 diabetes--
    2,391 cases were reported when 1,780 were expected. (Commonwealth
    Department of Veterans Affairs. 1998a. Morbidity of Vietnam Veterans: A
    Study of the Health of Australia's Vietnam Veteran Community. Volume 1:
    Male Vietnam Veterans Survey and Community Comparison Outcomes.
    Canberra: Commonwealth Department of Veterans Affairs.)
    The 1999 NIOSH study (Calvert et al., 1999) reported an elevated
    incidence of Type 2 diabetes in individuals who had high levels of
    serum dioxin relative to others examined in that study. A study of the
    Ranch Hand comparison group, reported in 1999 and published in 2000,
    showed similar findings. (Longnecker MP, Michalek JE. 2000. Serum
    dioxin level in relation to Type 2 diabetes among Air Force veterans
    with background levels of exposure. Epidemiology 11(1):44-48.) The Air
    Force's subsequent analysis of Ranch Hand data (AFHS, 2000) showed
    almost identical Type 2 diabetes incidence in Ranch Hand and the
    matched comparison group. However, this study did show significant
    dose-response relationships between dioxin levels and Type 2 diabetes
    incidence, controlling for confounding variables.

    [[Page 2379]]

    Biological Plausibility

    Regarding biologic plausibility, NAS concluded in VAO: Diabetes
    that animal, laboratory, and human studies constitute ``reasonable
    evidence that TCDD exposure could affect Type 2 diabetes risk in
    humans.'' This conclusion is based mainly on three studies. (Michalek
    JE. 1999. Oral presentation: Workshop on the Evidence Regarding a Link
    Between Exposure to Agent Orange and Diabetes. Washington, DC:
    Institute of Medicine, July 23; Longnecker MP and Michalek JE. 2000.
    Serum Dioxin Level in relation to Type 2 diabetes among Air Force
    veterans with background levels of exposure. Epidemiology 11(1):44-48;
    Cranmer M, Louie S, Kennedy RH, Kern PA, Fonseca VA. 2000. Exposure to
    2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) is associated with
    hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance. Toxicological Sciences 56(2):

    IV. The Secretary's Determination on Diabetes

    NAS reviewed all known relevant scientific and medical articles
    published since Update 1998, and prior studies, as an integral part of
    the process that resulted in VAO: Diabetes. In VAO: Diabetes, NAS
    observed that, ``Although some of the risk estimates in the studies
    examined by the committee are not statistically significant and,
    individually, studies can be faulted for various methodological
    reasons, the accumulation of positive evidence is suggestive.''
    After considering all of the evidence, the Secretary has determined
    that there is a positive association between exposure to herbicides and
    Type 2 diabetes and, therefore, a presumption of service connection is

    V. Compliance With the Congressional Review Act, the Regulatory
    Flexibility Act, and Executive Order 12866

    We estimate that the five-year cost of this proposed rule from
    appropriated funds would be $3.3 billion in benefits costs and $62
    million in government operating expenses. Since it is likely that the
    adoption of the proposed rule may have an annual effect on the economy
    of $100 million or more, the Office of Management and Budget has
    designated this proposed rule as a major rule under the Congressional
    Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 802, and a significant regulatory action under
    Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review. The following
    information is provided pursuant to E.O. 12866.
    This proposed rule is necessary to comply with the Agent Orange Act
    of 1991, which requires VA to establish a presumption of service
    connection if the Secretary finds that there is a positive association
    between exposure to herbicides used in the Republic of Vietnam during
    the Vietnam era and the subsequent development of any particular
    disease. As explained above, the Acting Secretary has found that there
    is such an association regarding Type 2 diabetes. There are no feasible
    alternatives to this proposed rule, since the Agent Orange Act of 1991
    requires the Secretary to promulgate it once he finds the positive
    association described above. The adoption of the proposed rule would
    not interfere with state, local or tribal governments in the exercise
    of their governmental functions.

    Benefits Costs

    Historical statistics indicate that the total number of veterans
    who served in the Republic of Vietnam or its surrounding waters was
    about 2.6 million. We estimate that about 2.3 million of these veterans
    are alive today. Using information gained from VAO: Diabetes and VA's
    Office of Planning and Analysis, VA applied a prevalence rate of 9% to
    the current population to determine the number of veterans who might
    have Type 2 diabetes today. VA assumes that over five years, about 90%
    of these same veterans would file a diabetes-related claim. We expect
    that 8 out of 10 claims will be made by first time applicants
    (original) and that 2 out of 10 will come from veterans already service
    connected for some other issue (reopened). The average monthly award
    made on account of diabetes or its ancillary conditions for original
    and reopened claims is estimated to be $462 and $786, respectively.
    These figures are based on average benefits to current beneficiaries
    for all conditions and include dependents' benefits and unemployability
    benefits where applicable. A moderate number of DIC and burial claims
    have also been factored into this estimate.
    VA estimates the cumulative totals of benefits awards to claimants
    for years 2001-2005 as follows: 10,199, 80,526, 129,988, 159,198 and
    178,356. Benefits costs (in $ million) for years 2001-2005 are as
    follows: $16.6, $303, $720.1, $1,010.7, and $1,205.3, for a total cost
    of $3.3 billion over five years. This cost estimate also provides for a
    nominal number of DIC payments and burial awards. Anticipated cost-of-
    living allowances (COLA's), per current economic assumptions, were
    factored into this estimate; however, no retroactive payments were

    Administrative Costs.

    The administrative workload caused by this proposed rule is
    expected to be 13,361 claims filed in 2001 and more than 220,000 over
    five years. Full time employee resources devoted to processing claims
    in years one through five would be 128, 378, 311, 185, and 123,
    respectively. Administrative workloads assume that not all claims would
    be granted; it is probable that diabetes related claims will be
    received from veterans who never served in the Republic of Vietnam. GOE
    costs (in $ million) for years 2001-2005 are as follows: $6.4, $18.6,
    $16.5, $11.9, and $8.2, for a total GOE cost of $62 million over five
    The Secretary hereby certifies that this regulatory amendment will
    not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small
    entities as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5
    U.S.C. 601-612. The reason for this certification is that these
    amendments would not directly affect any small entities. Only VA
    beneficiaries could be directly affected. Therefore, pursuant to 5
    U.S.C. 605(b), these amendments are exempt from the initial and final
    regulatory flexibility analysis requirements of sections 603 and 604.

    The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance program numbers are
    64.100, 64.101, 64.104, 64.105, 64.106, 64.109, and 64.110.

    List of Subjects in 38 CFR Part 3

    Administrative practice and procedure, Claims, Disability benefits,
    Health care, Pensions, Veterans, Vietnam.

    Approved: December 6, 2000.
    Hershel W. Gober,
    Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 38 CFR part 3 is
    proposed to be amended as follows:


    Subpart A--Pension, Compensation, and Dependency and Indemnity

    1. The authority citation for part 3, subpart A continues to read
    as follows:

    Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501(a), unless otherwise noted.
    2. In Sec. 3.309, paragraph (e), the listing of diseases is amended
    by adding ``Type 2 diabetes (also known as Type II diabetes mellitus or
    adult-onset diabetes)'' between ``Chloracne or other acneform disease
    consistent with chloracne'' and ``Hodgkin's disease'' to read as

    [{Page 2380} ]

    Sec. 3.309 Diseases subject to presumptive service connection.

    * * * * *
    (e) * * *
    Type 2 diabetes (also known as Type II diabetes mellitus or adult-
    onset diabetes)
    * * * * *
    [FR Doc. 01-685 Filed 1-8-01; 8:45 am]
    BILLING CODE 8320-01-P

    Edited by: Indybear57 at: 5/8/01 3:59:16 pm

    Posts: 504
    (5/8/01 1:40:21 pm)
    | Del Re: More Agent Orange Update
    Thanks Larry.I don't know why it wouldn't come thru my email,but the posting of it here really helps bud.

    I had assumed all along that the other Corps were the areas that received the mass defoilation to help expose troop movements thru such mountainous terrain and would spare the Delta due to it's vital rice,rubber and banana crop that was so important to their economy.

    So I've never felt the need for testing.
    ...and two hard boiled eggs.

    Posts: 119
    (5/8/01 1:53:35 pm)
    | Del Re: More Agent Orange Update
    "This map is a representation of herbicide spray
    missions in Vietnam. The dark areas represent
    concentrated spraying areas. This map only
    represents fixed-wing aricraft spraying, and does
    not include helicopter spraying of perimeters, or
    other spray methods.

    The III Corps area received the heaviest
    concentations of spraying, followed by I Corps, II
    Corps and IV Corps."

    Posts: 509
    (5/8/01 2:37:17 pm)
    | Del Re: More Agent Orange Update
    Thanks Hope...what a relief that is.Nothing dark in my AO.WHEW!
    ...and two hard boiled eggs.

    Posts: 206
    (5/8/01 3:31:10 pm)
    | Del Re: More Agent Orange Update

    Thanks for the info. Looks like we got the real dose of the stuff. Probably because of all the headquarters that were located in that area. No wonder no one smelled very good all the time. and here I thought it was because they didn't take - Hope

    Senior Chief Moderator III
    Posts: 130
    (5/8/01 4:40:12 pm)
    | Del Re: More Agent Orange Update
    Homer...LISTEN UP!!!!

    It don't matter whether you AO is in black or not. When there is ANY spraying winds can carry residue of that crap for miles. If you have Type II diabetes...GO TO THE VA!!!!!
    File a claim!

    Posts: 121
    (5/8/01 7:53:59 pm)
    | Del Re: More Agent Orange Update
    I've suspected for some time that exposure to AO was why hubby and I could never have kids of our own. (Our kids are adopted, and his base was right on that line in II Corps.) His best AF buddy was at Nha Trang, and they both worked on the same aircraft. His buddy was from a large Catholic family, and my sisters and brother had lots of kids. (5-6-5). Yet, both his buddy and his wife, and hubby and I have kids through adoption.


    Posts: 97
    (5/9/01 11:44:09 am)
    | Del Re: More Agent Orange Update
    Listen to what has been said. Won't cost you anything but a little time. Where did you get your fruits and veggis from back then? We used local farmers sometimes. Don't know how long it would take the soil to allow plants to grow or how much dioxin was in the plants when they did grow.

    Sharon, you have a very valid point and concern. That is almost beyond coincidence. Almost like the community of returning Reserve Gulf War Vets with a ten fold or higher ratio of birth defects showing up in their children.

    Take care, Gene

    Edited by: gene29223 at: 5/9/01 12:45:22 pm

    Posts: 544
    (5/10/01 5:41:50 pm)
    | Del Re: More Agent Orange Update
    OK and Thanks.
    ...and two hard boiled eggs.

    Posts: 101
    (5/11/01 7:45:32 am)
    | Del Re: More Agent Orange Update
    I pulled this off of another academic ( )) site. Enough to scare the crap out of you. Sharon you might find it interesting also. Re: effects of Agent Orange by
    Dan Phariss

    On Wed May 9, Cassie wrote
    >I live in Australia and studing at present. I am trying to gain enough
    information of the Vietnam War for a presentation I have to do. My question, I
    am trying to find out the effects of Agent Orange on both the troops as well as
    their children and childrens, children. Also my uncle served in Vietnam for
    Australia and I just wanted to gain your thoughts on the Australian involvement?
    Many people would agree that seeing that the Australian force was so small in
    comparison to the American one it really was'nt necessary for us to be
    there.Also if you are able to shed some light on the emotional effects, the
    things troops did and saw. My uncle won't talk about it at all.I have found this
    with alot of vet's. I commend you for being so open. I look forward to hearing
    from you.
    Go to this site for current info on long term effects in Viet Nam.
    The following is a small part of The Pesticide Dilemma by Allan A Boraiko in the
    Feb. 1980 National Geographic Magazine
    ......Some scientists perceive a patternin the kinds of birth defects among the
    children of Vietnamese farmers, American veterans, and families near Seveso,
    Italy, where in 1976 an exploding chemical plant broadcast TCDD by the pound.
    They interpretlimited American and Italian studies and anecdotal reports from
    Vietnam as evidence that malformed fingers and toes are unusually common among
    these children, a conclusion not shared by most other experts. The Air Force
    plans to investigate the health of airmen who flew spray missions in Vietnam;
    other researchers are studying men who worked in now defunct 2,4,5-T plants in
    West Virginia and Arkansas.
    Dr. Lewis Shadoff doubts they will find much. He is senior research specialist
    at Dow's analytical laboratory and showed me TCDD synthesized for research.
    Wearing disposable plastic gloves, Dr. Shadoff gingerly held up a vial
    containing one one-thousandth of an ounce of crystallineTCDD (page 180). It
    looked like baking soda. It could probably kill 500 people.
    "I may be one of only 15 people in the world," Dr. Shadoff said, "who have
    handled pure TCDD. It makes me nervous every time. " After he had put away the
    vial, he peeled off his gloves, packed them in a carton, and sent it by courier
    to an incinerator to be burned at 1000°C.
    Dr. Wilbur McNulty of the Oregon Regional Primate Research Center in Beaverton
    also respects TCDD. He knows what tiny doses can do to rhesus monkeys.
    The effects are striking. Production of sperm cells, red and white blood cells,
    and thymocytes—cells that combat infection— stops. Pregnant monkeys abort;
    important, Dr. McNulty says, because monkeys and humans share the same ovulation
    cycle and hormonal phases. And at first their embryos develop at about the same
    rate. From his monkey studies, Dr. McNulty concludes that a teaspoon—or even
    less—of 2,4,5-Tmay be hazardous to women during some critical period in early
    Dr. Matthew Meselson and colleagues at the Harvard Biological Laboratories are
    biochemists who have found TCDI) in beef fat and Vietnamese fish. Mother's milk
    is also suspect. He believes TCDD may concentrate to dangerous levels in the
    "Dow's Dr. Shadoff says it's excreted," Dr. Meselson told me. "But more
    important, is the damage it does cumulative? Can it be repaired? X rays pass
    through a person with the speed of light, but it's ridiculous to say that
    therefore there are no aftereffects. Each exposure works injury, and if TCDD
    acts similarly, it's cumulative. Genes don't forget, though the chemical maybe
    A side bar reads:
    TCDD: the perilous by-product
    DEADLIEST of all man-made poisons, according to most scientists, TCDD—shorthand
    for 2,3, 7,8-tetrachlorodibenzoparadioxin, freguently called simply dioxin—is
    the inevitable byproduct of the manufacture of the herbicides 2,4,5-T and
    silvex. TCDD crystals, synthesized by Dow Chemical U.S A., fleck a vial cradled
    in protective gloves (le}`t). These 25 milligrams equal the
    amountinatonof2,4,5-T. Someof the crystals, here magnified 45 times (lower
    right), were given to the government for toxicological study. At Dow's Midland,
    Michigan, plant, 2,4,5-T samples drawn to assay TCDD levels (right) register
    between .02 and .03 parts per million—well below EPA's recommended limit of a
    tenth of a part permillion.
    Is the TCDD in 2,4,5-T a true menace to human health? "There's good scientific
    basis for that concern; it's not something you can shrug off," says biochemist
    Dr. Matthew Meselson, who has detected traces in beeffat. As little as five
    parts per trillion (ppt) of TCDD in the dietcaused tumors in rats. Five hundred
    ppt caused female monkeys to abortand die.
    Though no one denies its toxicity to laboratory animals, TCDD's effect on human
    beings is hotly debated. Avows James H. Hanes, a vice president of Dow USA.,
    "There is not a single Dow scientist I know of who doesn't think that 2,4,5-T is
    one of the safest products we make."

    Sorry the photos are not included.

    Agent Orange was a mix of 2,4,D and 2,4,5,T.
    If 2,4,5,T is among their satest products it makes me wonder about the others.
    The Dow scientist and the VP are just parroting the company line.
    Mr Shadoff's treatment of his gloves after handling a sealed glass vial of
    dioxin tells it all. Dioxin is the deadliest small molecule poison known.

    Know it is kind of long but it does say it all.

    You all take care, Gene

    Edited by: Misterstan at: 5/11/01 10:27:27 am

    Senior Chief Moderator III
    Posts: 149
    (5/11/01 5:19:50 pm)
    | Del Re: More Agent Orange Update
    I have a 21 yr old daughter who has a little finger that is not right. This is short of saying that it is deformed. Her Mother and I have always thought that maybe it was broken when she was a baby and we didn't know it. After reading Gene's post about birth defects caused by AO...I think I will talk to my ex-wife and daughter and see if maybe a x-ray is in order. She also has a very, very small skin tag on her ear. I am worried now.

    Posts: 132
    (5/12/01 6:08:04 pm)
    | Del Re: More Agent Orange Update
    Thanks, Gene. Appreciate the info!


    Rons Toys
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 40
    (5/16/01 2:56:48 pm)
    | Del Re: More Agent Orange Update

    Full story here:,...68,00.html

    EPA Agrees Dioxin Poses Cancer Risk

    Wednesday, May 16, 2001

    long-stalled government study that says dioxin
    causes cancer in laboratory animals and
    possibly in people finally will be sent to federal
    regulators - and put another far-reaching
    environmental issue in the Bush
    administration's lap.

    The study's conclusion that chlorinated dioxin is an
    air pollutant that should be more tightly controlled
    could affect everything from milk, beef and fish to
    medical products and the chemical and paper

    Dioxin also is a generic term for a group of
    compounds, some of which are more toxic than

    The contaminant used in Agent Orange, a defoliant
    sprayed during the Vietnam War, includes the most
    toxic form of dioxin. Agent Orange exposure has
    been associated with cancer, birth defects and
    miscarriages, though a direct link to those health
    problems remain unproven.

    But a new study released Tuesday by American
    researchers shows a high level of dioxin among
    residents of a South Vietnamese city and suggests
    that once it enters the environment, dioxin remains
    a persistent source of contamination for
    generations to come.

    Posts: 253
    (5/16/01 5:14:46 pm)
    | Del Re: More Agent Orange Update
    If the government wants to know about cancer, birth defects, miscarriages then why don't they get off their round browns and start asking more questions of the women that were stationed in that country?

    Everyone has set around wondering just what in hell is happening to all the females that were there, but keeping it all on the quiet side.

    We did not even get interviewed for all that crap untill just a few years ago and yet while they are asking us all those questions, they say it is too late for us, perhaps it will help others in future wars.

    Yes, you men have problems, you are the ones that they are concentrating on and as you know, at least I hope you do, our anatomy is quite different.

    I was contacted by the government, they wanted to know all about me from the day I was incountry up until they were contacting me. What am I suspose to say when I am told it is too late for us, perhaps it will help the future military?

    Over half of the female vets that I was friends with there are (Deceased) from some form of cancer. Most of the offspring from these females have some sort of health problems that have not ever been in their families before. Quiet a few women are living with the cancer today and more keeps croping up.

    Now they are just putting out that long stalled conclusion regarding dioxins. Wow, I guess we all better be on the look out for some sort of little rash or something to break out that they can give us some sort of salve to cure it, huh? I am afraid if I asked for the salve they would say it was my imagination that I didn't really have the rash.

    Excuse me, whenever I see a report of this kind hit the news I get a bit agitated.


    Senior Chief Moderator III
    Posts: 177
    (5/16/01 5:41:20 pm)
    | Del Re: More Agent Orange Update
    And rightfully so Hope!! Sounds like a well-organized group of female vets, with backing from Vet Organizations could bring this to the attention of the House and Senate.

    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 143
    (5/17/01 7:19:42 am)
    | Del Re: More Agent Orange Update
    I don't blame you Hope for being agitated. Hell, I'd be pissed! I had heard some vets talking about being retested or having been notified of such, but I hadn't gotten too much info. (These were guys I just overheard so they were pretty guarded.)
    My dad was a courier so he was EVERYWHERE and has a number of strange things going wrong with him now. When they return home I will make sure I enlighten him on the info here. Might be the "root of all evil" so to speak.
    Find what you're good at and stick with it!

    Posts: 259
    (5/17/01 11:00:21 am)
    | Del Re: More Agent Orange Update
    Copr6 and Bree,

    All this has been round the block many times, believe me it has been given a good fight. However, as with anyone that was there, we were the ones that were susposed to have been out of our minds half the time from all the drugs that we had available to us, the men went out and hid in the bushes all stoned, the women were nothing but YOU KNOW WHATS and we are now making things up to cover our rears for loosing the war. We were lazy!

    Now if anybody has not ever heard anything like this at anytime since you have been back, you are one of a few, would like very much to hear about your rosy return.


    Senior Chief Moderator III
    Posts: 183
    (5/17/01 5:33:34 pm)
    | Del Re: More Agent Orange Update
    Hope...nobody ever said anything to my face. But, I don't recall anything being rosy either. When I first got home I wanted to talk about where I had been, but it seemed like nobody give a shit so I just quit telling.

    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 144
    (5/17/01 10:52:31 pm)
    | Del Re: More Agent Orange Update
    When my stepdad's friend returned he used to talk quite a bit, but then he started drinking heavily and stopped. I asked questions and got blown off. That was no concern of women.
    Main reason I hit this MB is to find out what happened and to understand what my family went through. I had posted before I was a protester but only for all the soldiers to come home safe. No political bullsh*t. Just a terrified little girl afraid for the people there. Little did I know some 30 years later Vietnam is still claiming victims and has been since the war ended.
    I was SO glad when you all came home. If I haven't said it recently: WELCOME HOME!
    AND more importantly: THANK YOU.