Veterans and Agent Orange: UpdateFri Aug 3, 2012 16:5184.108.40.206Veterans and Agent Orange: Update
Committee to Review the Health Effects in Vietnam Veterans of Exposure to Herbicides (Fourth Biennial Update)
This book updates and evaluates the available scientific evidence regarding statistical associations between diseases and exposure to dioxin and other chemical compounds in herbicides used in Vietnam, focusing on new scientific studies and literature. ...
From 1962 to 1971, US military forces sprayed herbicides over Vietnam to strip the thick jungle canopy that helped conceal opposition forces, to destroy crops that enemy forces might depend on, and to clear tall grasses and bushes from the perimeters of US base camps and outlying fire-support bases. Mixtures of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T), picloram, and cacodylic acid made up the majority of the herbicides sprayed. The herbicide mixtures used were named according to the color of an identification band painted on the storage drums; one of the main chemical mixtures sprayed was Agent Orange (a 50:50 mixture of 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T). At the time of the spraying, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD, one form of dioxin) was an unintended contaminant from the production of 2,4,5-T and was present in Agent Orange and some other formulations sprayed in Vietnam.
In 1991, because of continuing uncertainty about the long-term health effects on Vietnam veterans of the herbicides sprayed, Congress passed Public Law 102-4 (PL 102-4), the Agent Orange Act of 1991. That legislation directed the secretary of veterans affairs to ask the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to perform a comprehensive evaluation of scientific and medical information regarding the health effects of exposure to Agent Orange, other herbicides used in Vietnam, and the various chemical components of those herbicides, including TCDD. The secretary was also to ask that NAS conduct updates at least every 2 years for 10 years from the date of the first report to review newly available literature and draw conclusions from the overall evidence.
In response to the request, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of NAS convened a committee, whose conclusions IOM published in 1994 in Veterans and Agent
Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2002 (2003)
Board on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (HPDP)
Institute of Medicine (IOM)
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