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AGENT ORANGE~New Study

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  • AGENT ORANGE~New Study

    Medical researchers say there may be a link between exposure to the defoliant Agent Orange and other herbicides used during the Vietnam War and an increased chance of developing serious heart problems and Parkinson's disease.

    A study from the Institute of Medicine released Friday contains several caveats, but suggests there is a stronger connection than previously thought about the health risks to Vietnam veterans.

    American forces sprayed millions of gallons of Agent Orange and other defoliants over parts of Vietnam from 1962 to 1970. Military authorities used the defoliants in an attempt to massively prune away the dense jungle cover used by North Vietnamese forces to hide.

    American troops and others exposed to the chemicals later complained of numerous health problems, however, and researchers are still trying to determine the scope of the damage.

    To determine whether Vietnam veterans faced an increased chance of ischemic heart disease - a condition involving reduced blood supply to the heart - researchers reviewed several studies that showed links between higher exposure levels and greater incidence of the disease.

    Other factors such as smoking, age, and weight can also play a role, they noted. Still, they said veterans exposed to the chemicals may be at greater risk.
    **GySgt [J.D.] MACK McKernan {Retired}**
    {VMO-6, Quang Tri} **{Mar69-Mar70}**

  • #2
    From an article in the NY Times

    Report Sees Agent Orange Link to More Illnesses


    By JANIE LORBER
    Published: July 24, 2009
    An expert panel reported on Friday that two more diseases may be linked to exposure to Agent Orange, a defoliant used by the American military during the Vietnam War.

    People exposed to the chemical appear, at least tentatively, to be more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease and ischemic heart disease, according to the report. The report was written by a 14-member committee charged by the Institute of Medicine with determining whether certain medical conditions were caused by exposure to herbicides used to clear stretches of jungle.

    The results, though not conclusive, are an important first step for veterans groups working to get the government to help pay for treatment of illnesses they believe have roots on the battlefield. Some other conditions linked to Agent Orange already qualify.

    Claud Tillman, a 61-year-old veteran from Knoxville, Tenn., who lost his job repairing guns after he received a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, said those benefits could help dig him out of tens of thousands of dollars in debt.

    Mr. Tillman has not worked since March 2007 and now lives on loans from relatives, including his son. “It sure has messed my life up,” said Mr. Tillman, who said he was sure he became ill after exposure to Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam. “I don’t know how to explain it. It won’t be long till I’m living under a bridge. I am confident that that’s where it came from, but there’s no way to prove it.”

    Since 1994 the Institute of Medicine committee has found 17 conditions associated with exposure to the chemical, 13 of which qualify veterans for service-connected disability benefits provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    In its latest report, the committee found “limited or suggestive evidence” linking the herbicide to Parkinson’s and ischemic heart disease. In the past, that has been enough evidence of a link to prompt benefits for some conditions but not for others.

    The group Vietnam Veterans of America plans to write a letter to the secretary of veterans affairs, Eric K. Shinseki, asking for extended benefits, said Bernard Edelman, the organization’s deputy director for policy and government affairs.

    The report notes that its conclusions about ischemic heart disease, a condition that restricts blood flow to the heart, causing irregular heartbeats and deterioration of the heart muscle, are still tentative because it is difficult to separate confounding risk factors like age, weight and the effects of smoking.

    The link between Parkinson’s disease and Agent Orange is also uncertain because, while new studies have strengthened the connection between the condition and certain chemicals, there is still no data on veterans and the condition.

    S/F GARY ALLS
    HMM-263 '66-'67

    Comment


    • #3
      Entire Veterans and AO report

      You can view the entire study online here, http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?re...=12662&page=R1

      I have yet to be able to find a paper copy. A few libraries have copies of the 2006 version and make available via inter-library loan for a fee.
      Deborah

      Comment


      • #4
        other exsposure

        what about the people who wern't in nam or korea that came into contact with AO ?as a former NBC warfare NCO i can tell you that residual contamination can and does occur from various pieces of equiptment helos,jeeps, waterbuffolos,gse,etc. and i know all that stuff wasn't cleaned properly !!!
        non illigitimus carborundumMAF gripe ... deadbugs on windshield...action taken...R&R with live bugs!

        Comment


        • #5
          Agent Orange

          AO was practiced @ where we did our first SERE school (AFB) in Panama City FL before it went over yonder...but not until 1971 or so...I've some friends (former Marines and Navy) that have been coming down with what I call ST Vitus(sp) dance (shaking and quivering of extremities), which could be the same as you have mentioned. I tried to bring it up to the VA, but they didn't want to hear it. I even showed them the document to prove the exposure to it...but then again...it took the VA 20 years or so to acknowledge my hearing loss.

          If us vets are experiencing these things, what do you think the VN is experiencing?

          Comment


          • #6
            agent orange

            Thomas, the condition you refer to is a genetic Condition. It is called Huntingtons. You can only get it by genetics. If your mother, or Father had it, then you will have a 50% chance of getting it. If not, then you will be free of it the rest of your life, as well as your children, and theres. THAT IS A FACT. It is in my Family, and My Mother, and 1 Aunt did not get it. I have 2 cousins of Parents that it affected, and they have not gotten it, and their Children have not gotten it. There has been 6 cousins come down with it so far. 4 have died. One is not far from it now. I do not believe AO can cause a gene to defect and cause Huntingtons. NO way. If you have the gene, you will get it, and if you do not have the gene, you will not get it. My Mother lived until she was 70 plus without getting it,(she did die of Cancer), and her Sister lived until she was 92 without getting it even though 4 of their Brothers and Sisters came down with it. There is no cure. The meds quit working after a short while. My Heart goes out to your Marine, and Navy Brothers. Be with them as much as you can, and try to comfort them as well. They still have their minds, but nothing else. Semper Fi. READY-APP.

            Comment


            • #7
              The Orange ?

              I have to get my thoughts up and running ,But I do have a lot to share with so many of you on this thread. For one thing I have 4 out of 6 Children
              that have different health problems.( 2) I didn't smoke or use Drugs as the many VA and alike try to push some blame on My Health. (3) Va also try to say it was Genetics but we had no history for them(different Health Problems).
              Anyways I will sit down and come up with some input on this very important
              subject matter. OH yes! Guess what Company I live down the road from? 1
              of the companies that made AO up for us in Vietnam. Guess !

              Comment


              • #8
                St Vitus dance: re: AR exposure

                But were any of your relatives exposed to Agent Orange?
                This crap was going on...a very long time...before the Nam shtuff...@ Eglin AFB, FL...where so many aviation kids did their first SERE training...
                There are so many USA and POW (WWII) headstones @ Ft McClennan, AL all victims of US chemical warfare exposure testing...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Huntingtons vs. Agent Orange

                  Thomas. Not a one of my relatives were exposed to AO, but Me. I was heavely exposed, for sure, and I am 60 without any symptoms at all, less than 3 months until I'm 61. It is safe to say, I DO NOT have the gene for Huntingtons. It will hit between the ages of late 30's to early 50's, if you have the gene. But, you must have the gene before you, or anyone can be affected by it. One had a motorcycle accident in England in WW2, and he had the gene for Huntingtons which could have advanced the condition a bit.(Agent Orange didn't exist in WW2). BUT, if a person does NOT have the gene for Huntingtons they will not get it even if they drink 10 gallons of Agent Orange. NO Way. AO may advance it in a person with the gene, but if you do not have the gene there is NO WAY Agent Orange can create a Huntingtons gene in your body, and you come down with it no matter what anyone may say, or think. AO Does Not make Huntington genes. There are a lot of people with (the Dance), as you call it, and have the Huntingtons gene with Chickasas Indian Blood in them its not funny. I am Lost Cherokee of Arkansas. Chickasas is in our Family too. It originated in the area of Alabama, Gerorgia, and surrounding States. Why do I know?, My GrandMother had the gene, and she came from Georgia, part Chickasas. I know well about Huntingtons, as stated before, I have had to see 8 of my Family die from it, and there are another 5, or 6 that have the condition, and their Children will possibally have it TOO. Myself, and 3 other cousins, and their Children WILL NOT get it, as we do not have the gene. It would have killed us by now, if we had it. I THANK GOD every Day, I don't. It is NOT a good thing to see, I assure you. If I knew I had the gene, or I had the condition, I certainly would take a gun, and blow my Brains out. To say there are so many USA, and POW(WW11) headstones @ Ft. McClennan, AL, all victims of US chemical warfare exposure testing, is yet to be determined. They would have to be dis-interned, and their bones analyzed for chemicals before we can say that. Testing would be available today. We can assume they were, but until testing is done, We can not say that unless it is on their Death Certificate. I doubt very many would state that either.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    chemical warfare test subject deaths

                    No, their deaths would be listed as training accidents ! like they did for covert operators that died in the field or recon pilots that died over places they weren't supposed to be ! sf
                    non illigitimus carborundumMAF gripe ... deadbugs on windshield...action taken...R&R with live bugs!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      3 new confiremed "presumptive" conditions

                      Originally posted by GARY ALLS View Post
                      Report Sees Agent Orange Link to More Illnesses


                      By JANIE LORBER
                      Published: July 24, 2009
                      An expert panel reported on Friday that two more diseases may be linked to exposure to Agent Orange, a defoliant used by the American military during the Vietnam War.

                      People exposed to the chemical appear, at least tentatively, to be more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease and ischemic heart disease, according to the report. The report was written by a 14-member committee charged by the Institute of Medicine with determining whether certain medical conditions were caused by exposure to herbicides used to clear stretches of jungle.

                      The results, though not conclusive, are an important first step for veterans groups working to get the government to help pay for treatment of illnesses they believe have roots on the battlefield. Some other conditions linked to Agent Orange already qualify.

                      Claud Tillman, a 61-year-old veteran from Knoxville, Tenn., who lost his job repairing guns after he received a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, said those benefits could help dig him out of tens of thousands of dollars in debt.

                      Mr. Tillman has not worked since March 2007 and now lives on loans from relatives, including his son. “It sure has messed my life up,” said Mr. Tillman, who said he was sure he became ill after exposure to Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam. “I don’t know how to explain it. It won’t be long till I’m living under a bridge. I am confident that that’s where it came from, but there’s no way to prove it.”

                      Since 1994 the Institute of Medicine committee has found 17 conditions associated with exposure to the chemical, 13 of which qualify veterans for service-connected disability benefits provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

                      In its latest report, the committee found “limited or suggestive evidence” linking the herbicide to Parkinson’s and ischemic heart disease. In the past, that has been enough evidence of a link to prompt benefits for some conditions but not for others.

                      The group Vietnam Veterans of America plans to write a letter to the secretary of veterans affairs, Eric K. Shinseki, asking for extended benefits, said Bernard Edelman, the organization’s deputy director for policy and government affairs.

                      The report notes that its conclusions about ischemic heart disease, a condition that restricts blood flow to the heart, causing irregular heartbeats and deterioration of the heart muscle, are still tentative because it is difficult to separate confounding risk factors like age, weight and the effects of smoking.

                      The link between Parkinson’s disease and Agent Orange is also uncertain because, while new studies have strengthened the connection between the condition and certain chemicals, there is still no data on veterans and the condition.

                      S/F GARY ALLS
                      HMM-263 '66-'67
                      Parkinson’s disease, ischemic heart disease, and Hairy Cell Cancer as of three weeks ago are Presumptive conditions for Disability.......My DAV at the VA here in Louisville filed my claim this morning.......

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BartClu View Post
                        Parkinson’s disease, ischemic heart disease, and Hairy Cell Cancer as of three weeks ago are Presumptive conditions for Disability.......My DAV at the VA here in Louisville filed my claim this morning.......
                        There are now12 conditions recognized as AO service-connected.
                        Among the newer are lung cancer and respiratory illnesses.
                        A year ago VA doctors told me the loss of my breath is COPD. I fought for another opinion which showed calcified tumors in linings of both bronchial tubes.
                        My lungs are fine.
                        Today, I'm on oxygen 24/7. 4 years ago I was a certified baseball umpire, I could run all day. Today I can barely make it up my steps.
                        So, heads up, I got to VN the summer of 1965, logically one of the first in-country who would show symptoms of AO illnesses.

                        Bests of good luck on your claim.
                        I am now 100% service-connected,
                        but I'd rather be able to breathe again.

                        Semper Fi, brothers
                        In memory of the one-eyed fatman[FONT="Georgia"][/FONT]

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Time is on their side!

                          Pat I have been told I had COPD since early 80's. Also have been in the fight over MS and thats been since 1984,and my MRI's just last year(Nov 08)
                          show more and this may be part of what is going on with my eyes. Just had a talk with eye Doctor and show Her the MRI reports She kind of shook her head. The AO may be some of my air passage problem too for I also have 7-8 Stents in my heart so its seems that something just kick my butt. Strange thing is they (VA) try to say it was my smoking and Drinking! Funny I didn't do either and so then they said DRUGs HA HA Wasn't in to them either. So with me they just put me off,any way they can. You know that to me it doesn't matter if it was AO or not ,We have these different things going on NOW so WHAT can we do about them . Most of my Kids have things with their health too. Later and God Bless and Keep you .

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            More Agent Orange Info

                            The following was on the military.com site Dec 31, 2009:


                            Costly Agent Orange-Heart Disease Link Looms
                            Tom Philpott | December 31, 2009
                            The cost of war -- on veterans’ health and taxpayer wallets -- will loom a little larger in the new year when the Department of Veterans Affairs issues a final rule to claim adjudicators to presume three more diseases of Vietnam veterans, including heart disease, were caused by exposure to Agent Orange.
                            The rule, expected to be published soon, will make almost any veteran who set foot in Vietnam, and is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, B cell leukemia or ischemic heart disease (known also as coronary artery disease), eligible for disability compensation and VA medical care. The exception would be if credible evidence surfaces of a non-service cause for the ailment.
                            Katie Roberts, VA press secretary, said no estimates will be available on numbers of veterans impacted or the potential cost to VA until after the rule change takes effect sometime in 2010. But the National Association for Uniformed Services was told by a VA official that up to 185,000 veterans could become eligible for benefits and the projected cost to VA might reach $50 billion, said Win Reither, a retired colonel on NAUS’ executive board.
                            NAUS also advised members that VA, to avoid aggravating its claims backlog, intends to “accept letters from family physicians supporting claims for Agent Orange-related conditions.” It said thousands of widows whose husbands died of Agent Orange disabilities also will be eligible for retroactive benefits and VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation.
                            “This is huge,” said Ronald Abrams, co-director of the National Veterans Legal Services Program. NVLSP has represented veterans in Agent Orange lawsuits for the last 25 years. The non-profit law group publishes the “Veterans Benefits Manual,” a 1900-page guide for veterans’ advocates to navigate the maze for VA claims, appeals and key court decisions.
                            Abrams said he can’t guess at how many more thousands of veterans previously denied disability claims, or how many thousands more who haven’t filed claims yet, will be eligible for benefits. But numbers, particularly of those with heart disease, will be very large, he suggested.
                            All of the veterans “who have been trying to link their heart condition to a service-connected condition won’t have to do it now if they’re Vietnam vets,” Abrams said. For VA, it will mean “a significant amount of money -- and many, many, many people helped.”
                            The excitement over expansion of benefits for Vietnam veterans, and worry by some within the Obama administration over cost, flows from an announcement last October by VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki. He said three categories would be added to the list of diseases the VA presumes were caused by Agent Orange. Veterans with the presumptive Agent Orange ailments can get disability compensation if they can show they made even a brief visit to Vietnam from 1962 to 1975. With a presumptive illness, claim applicants don’t have to prove, as other claimants do, a direct association between their medical condition and military service.
                            Shinseki said he based his decision on work of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies. VA contracts with IOM to gather veterans’ health data and investigate links between diseases and toxic herbicide used in Vietnam to destroy vegetation and expose enemy positions.
                            In a speech last July, Shinseki, former Army chief of staff and a wounded veteran of Vietnam, expressed frustration that “40 years after Agent Orange was last used in Vietnam, this secretary is still adjudicating claims for presumption of service-connected disabilities tied to its toxic effects.” VA and the Defense Department should had conducted conclusive studies earlier on presumptive disabilities from Agent Orange, he suggested.
                            “The scientific method and the failure to advocate for the veteran got in the way of our processes,” Shinseki bluntly concluded.
                            In last October’s announcement he said VA “must do better reviews of illnesses that may be connected to service, and we will. Veterans who endure health problems deserve timely decisions based on solid evidence.”
                            When a disease is added to VA’s list of ailments tied to Agent Orange, veterans with the disease can become eligible for retroactive disability payments, back to the date original claims were rejected, if after 1985.
                            Joe Violante, legislative director for Disabled American Veterans, praised Shinseki’s decision. But he said VA faces a “logistical nightmare” in trying to find veterans turned down on earlier on claims. A VA official told Violante, he said, that cost of the search could be part of that nightmare.
                            Chairman of government affairs for Vietnam Veterans of America until last October was John Miterko. He said he wasn’t surprised that Shinseki added ailments to the Agent Orange presumptive list including heart disease.
                            “If you look at the Vietnam veteran population, the diseases we’ve contracted and the mortality rate, the only group dying faster rate are the World War II veterans,” Miterko said. “We’re picking up diseases by our ‘60s that we shouldn’t be getting until our late ‘70s, early ‘80s. So his adding other diseases, heart disease in particular, isn’t a surprise.”
                            Both Shinseki and his predecessor, James Peake, former Army surgeon general, had long military careers and served in Vietnam. “That’s a hell of a bonus for us,” Miterko said. Both of them have shown “much more empathy, much more understanding. They would have seen many of their own peer group suffering from the effects of exposure to Agent Orange.”
                            Miterko doesn’t believe anyone can estimate how many veterans will benefit from the new presumptive diseases. VA will continue to process claims individually, he said, and likely won’t be accepting Agent Orange as the cause of heart disease for someone “who has smoked for 40 years and is mobidly obese. Common sense is going to have to prevail as well.”
                            To comment, send e-mail to milupdate@aol.com or write to Military Update, P.O. Box 231111, Centreville, VA, 20120-1111

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Heart Claims

                              Has anyone been granted disability for heart issues based on AO yet? I applied in Nov, was interviewed 3-4: my brother-in-law was interviewed 1-14 and neither of us has heard a word since..

                              Comment

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