Exposure to Agent Orange
Published April 20, 2017
PORTIONS OF THIS ARTICLE HAVE BECOME OUTDATED AS OF PASSAGE OF THE PACT ACT IN AUGUST 10, 2022. See here for an updated discussion of Agent Orange disability claims.
For an entire decade, from the early 1960s to the early 1970s, the United States sprayed millions of gallons of the blended herbicide Agent Orange throughout Vietnam and the surrounding regions. Its purpose was to defoliate the land to remove any covering for guerrillas. The herbicide was also used to clear areas around military bases.
At the time, concerns arose about the side effects the herbicide could have on human beings since Agent Orange contains highly toxic compounds called dioxins. These substances, shown as carcinogenic in animal studies, indicated that similar dangers could exist for people. Even so, the use of these chemicals continued until 1971 when the United States Air Force finally conducted the last official spray.
Today, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs recognizes many problems as “presumptive diseases” associated with exposure to Agent Orange — such as various cancers, peripheral neuropathy, chloracne, and heart disease, among others.
The VA continues to conduct research on the effects of Agent Orange and its associated health issues.
If you’re a veteran and served in Vietnam during the conflict, or near the Korean demilitarized zone, you could have experienced exposure to Agent Orange.
For those who served on military bases in Thailand, during the Vietnam War, you also could have suffered exposure. Children of veterans exposed to Agent Orange aren’t immune to health problems either. Cases of defects at birth, such as Spina Bifida, are known to have occurred.
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