Tuesday, August 19, 2014

"I gotta tell ya..." George Claxton's "Smoking Gun" Studies

Effects of endocrine disruptors on the human fetal testis
The Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor (AHR) as a Mediator of Adverse Immune Reactions
Evolution of sperm quality in men living in the vicinity of a municipal solid waste incinerator possibly correlated with decreasing dioxins emission levels
Developmental Exposure of Mice to Dioxin Promotes Transgenerational Testicular Inflammation and an Increased Risk of Preterm Birth in Unexposed Mating Partners
Agent Orange exposure and cancer incidence in Korean Vietnam veterans: A prospective cohort study
Agent Orange exposure and disease prevalence in Korean Vietnam veterans: The Korean Veterans health study.
Liver Tumor Promotion by 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin Is Dependent on the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor and TNF/IL-1 Receptors

Monday, August 18, 2014

For the children, grandchildren, and future generations...

S.2738 replaces S.1602--Introduced by Senators Moran (R-KS) and Blumenthal (S.CT)

  2d Session
                                S. 2738
To establish in the Department of Veterans Affairs a national center for research on the diagnosis and 
treatment of health conditions of the  descendants of veterans exposed to toxic substances during 
service in  the Armed Forces, to establish an advisory board on exposure to toxic substances, 
and for other purposes. 

                             July 31, 2014

Mr. Blumenthal (for himself, Mr. Moran, and Mr. Begich) introduced the  following bill; which was read 
twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs


                                 A BILL
To establish in the Department of Veterans Affairs a national center for research on the diagnosis 
and treatment of health conditions of the  descendants of veterans exposed to toxic substances 
during service in  the Armed Forces, to establish an advisory board on exposure to toxic substances, 
and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in 
Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the ``Toxic Exposure Research Act of 2014''. 


"Mortality study of civilian employees exposed to contaminated drinking water at USMC Base Camp Lejeune: a retrospective cohort study"

On August 13, 2014 the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry's (ATSDR) journal article "Mortality study of civilian employees exposed to contaminated drinking water at USMC Base Camp Lejeune: a retrospective cohort study" was published (http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/sites/lejeune/civilianmortalitystudy.html).
The purpose of this study was to determine whether potential exposures to the drinking water contaminants at Camp Lejeune are associated with increased risk of death from specific cancers and other chronic diseases among civilian workers employed at the base. The study evaluated specific causes of death in 4,647 full-time workers who were employed at Camp Lejeune during 1973-1985. ATSDR also evaluated a comparison group of 4,690 full-time workers who were employed at Camp Pendleton during 1973-1985 but were not employed at Camp Lejeune during this period. The Camp Pendleton workers were not exposed to contaminated drinking water.
This study is one of several health initiatives that ATSDR is expected to complete in the next several years. For more information about these studies, visit http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/sites/lejeune/ or call (800) 232-4636.
Since 1991, the Marine Corps has supported the health initiatives conducted by various scientific agencies. We are also working diligently to identify and notify individuals who, in the past, may have been exposed to the chemicals in drinking water. For more information about these efforts or to update your contact information, please see: http://www.marines.mil/clwater/, call (877) 261-9782 or e-mail clwater@usmc.mil.
To contact the Department of Veterans Affairs to learn more about health care benefits, please visit http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/camp-lejeune/ or call (877) 222-8387 (Healthcare) or (800) 827-1000 (Benefits).
The Camp Lejeune Historic Drinking Water Program

Four decades later, following the trail of Agent Orange

Remember the Agent Orange controversy?
For 20 years after U.S. military veterans returned from Vietnam — where the notorious herbicide and similar exfoliants were used to expose bombing targets — claims that they and their children experienced side effects from this new giant step in military warfare were shunted aside for lack of scientific evidence.
It wasn't until the Agent Orange Act of 1991 that Congress took veterans' concerns seriously enough to order an independent evaluation of what toxic chemical reactions might have occurred back in the jungle. Eventually, strong links were identified between the highly potent form of dioxin used in Agent Orange and certain types of cancers, and the public spotlight moved on.
Now, as our Vietnam vets are swiftly joining the ranks of our elders, I was surprised to learn that the research begun in 1991 has quietly continued. Every two years, the Institute of Medicine — an independent advisory organization that is part of the National Academy of Science — has been publishing exhaustive updates as more is learned about the health effects of herbicide exposure.
The latest is "Update 2012," more than 1,000 pages of scientific scrutiny that adds strokes to the list of outcomes with "limited or suggestive evidence of an association" to chemical exposure.
READ MORE: http://health.heraldtribune.com/2014/08/15/four-decades-later-following-trail-agent-orange/

Top US general visits dioxin cleanup in Da Nang

Top US military officer Martin Dempsey said in Da Nang on Friday that he was impressed by the progress being at a dioxin cleanup project being conducted at a former US airbase.
Dempsey, the first US chairman of the joint chiefs of staff to visit Vietnam since the war, said the project represents an important milestone in bilateral relations.
The US Department of Defense will continue to support the initiative, he said.
The US$84-million project, funded by US Agency for International Development (USAID), aims to eliminate the extensive dioxin contamination at the former airbase.
The former airbase served as a primary staging site for the US' indiscriminate use of toxic chemical defoliants throughout the war.
The first phase of the project, which started in August, 2012, involves heating 45,000 cubic meters of dioxin-contaminated excavated soil in a temporary treatment structure at 335 degrees Celsius.
The high temperature will destroy the toxin.
The second phase of the project began last February and will treat 35,000 cubic meters of dioxin-contaminated excavated soil.
Dempsey stopped in Da Nang during his four-day official visit to Vietnam.
READ MORE: http://www.thanhniennews.com/politics/top-us-general-visits-dioxin-cleanup-in-da-nang-29996.html

Friday, August 15, 2014

International Agent Orange Day fundraiser at Addison Rd Centre

Please find in this youtube a glimpse of some of the remarkable events that took place in Sydney to mark the International Agent Orange Day on August 10.
Agent Orange was first sprayed in Vietnam on August 10, 1961. It went on for 10 years.
Our deep gratitude to Addison Road Community Centre for the enormous support that it has given us to make this series of activities and events possible and with such fantastic results.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A long, long time ago, in a land far, far away...

LET’S TALK ABOUT….AGENT ORANGE! A long, long time ago, in a land far, far away, people were engaging in a conflict that was hidden under a thick layer of trees, bushes, and crop growth. In order to make it easier to spot the “enemy”, Huey helicopters were used to spray herbicide over the countryside to kill the trees, bushes, and crops. At the same time, the spray reached the people engaging in the conflict under that landscape.
The year was 1961. The country was Viet Nam. The people engaging in the conflict were from all over the world—including the United States. The herbicide was “Agent Orange”.
Agent Orange was a nickname derived from the orange identification stripe painted around the 55 gallon barrels that stored the deadly herbicide. In chemical scientific terms, Agent Orange is an approximately 1:1 mixture of two phenoxyl herbicides – 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T) – in iso-octyl ester form.In 1976 the UN General Assembly considered the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament addressing the use of, and destruction from, Agent Orange. In the fall of 1978 the Environmental Modification Convention was signed and ratified. This convention “prohibits the military or other hostile use of environmental modification techniques having widespread, long-lasting or severe effects.”
The US sprayed millions of gallons of Agent Orange over Viet Nam foliage assuring the public that it was only going to destroy the foliage—“no humans were going to be affected”. For decades this statement was confirmed by “those in the know”.READ MORE: http://healertoday.com/articles/ask-max-agent-orange/

USDA ignores Americans, looks to approve 2,4-D crops

Over a hundred million additional pounds of toxic pesticides associated with cancers and birth defects are coming to a field near you. UNLESS YOU STOP IT!
“Agent Orange” crops are genetically engineered by Dow Chemical to promote the use of 2,4-D, one of the herbicides in the toxic mixture Vietnam veteran’s know as Agent Orange. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is on the cusp of approval, even though they acknowledge the use of this toxic pesticide will skyrocket.
There is a 30-day public comment period and it MIGHT BE OUR LAST CHANCE to stop this chemical assault - Sign the petition today!
USDA’s announcement is an outrageous abdication of the agency’s responsibility to protect our health and our food supply. The Obama Administration has ignored the interests and demands of millions of Americans, Members of Congress, scientists, farmers and health professionals.
Americans have one last chance to speak to the agency and the Obama Administration and demand a halt to 2,4-D crops before it is too late!
Last month, over 500,000 people around the country wrote to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and 50 members of Congress sent a letter to USDA and EPA urging the agencies to reject approval of these crops.
Wide scale use of Roundup with Roundup Ready GE crops has already led to an epidemic of resistant weeds, and the next step in the chemical arms race is 2,4-D — a chemical linked to major health problems including cancer, Parkinson’s disease, endocrine disruption, and reproductive problems. Industry tests show that 2,4-D is contaminated with dioxins—often referred to as the most toxic substances known to science. EPA has reported that 2,4-D is the seventh largest source of dioxins in the U.S.
We have less than 30 days to tell USDA to reject Dow’s  2,4-D resistant GE crops – please sign the petition today!

"Burn Pit" Whistleblower Military-Veterans Advocacy Files Suit After Sexual Assault And Forced Discharge

SLIDELL, La., Aug. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Military-Veterans Advocacy has filed suit August 1, 2014, in the United States Court of Federal Claims on behalf of former Navy Environmental Health Officer, Lieutenant Commander Celeste Santana who strongly argued against the unrestricted use of open air burn pits in Afghanistan. Santana was responsible for the environmental health and safety of American Marine forces at Camp Leatherneck and outlying forward operating bases (FOBs) in Afghanistan.
Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140813/135712
After raising concerns about water purity and bottled water storage procedures, Santana apparently ran afoul of her superiors. Her subsequent efforts to curb the use of open air burn pits at Camp Leatherneck and subordinate FOBs led to further ire. She drew criticism by reporting her concerns to higher authority and for demanding to see the Commanding General. While on a routine mission to FOB Fiddler's Green in 2009, she awoke to find that she was being sexually assaulted. An investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) was closed due to the "lack of logical leads or suspects." The Camp Pendleton NCIS office, responsible for the investigation into activities occurring with the Fiddler's Green unit refused to cooperate with the investigation.
Shortly after the sexual assault, LCDR Santana was relieved of her duties. She was told that she was "uncooperative" and created a "hostile" environment. She was returned to the United States where she was immediately relieved of all other duties and it was suggested she take a psychiatric exam. After receiving an adverse fitness report, she was not elected for promotion to Commander.  Although she was within three years of retirement, he was not selected for continuation on active duty - the only officer of her grade and experience who was not selected. As a result she was forced to leave the service, two years and eleven months shy of retirement. 
Military-Veterans Advocacy Executive Director John B. Wells, a retired Navy Commander, called Santana a "true hero" who lost her career while trying to protect the health of the Marines assigned to Afghanistan. 
READ MORE: http://www.sys-con.com/node/3146262

All Agent Orange Ingredients Unearthed at U.S. Military Dumpsite on Okinawa

More than six months after dozens of rusty chemical barrels were unearthed from former U.S. military land in Okinawa City, their contents have been identified – and they appear to offer conclusive proof that the toxic Vietnam War defoliant Agent Orange was buried on the island.
Announced in early July, the results of two separate studies – one conducted by Okinawa City and one by the Okinawa Defense Bureau – both detected the three signature components of Agent Orange: the herbicides 2,4,5-T and 2,4-D as well as highly-toxic TCDD dioxin.This is the first time that all three ingredients have been discovered on ex-Pentagon property on Okinawa.
About half of the 61 barrels also bore markings from the Dow Chemical Company – one of the largest manufacturers of Agent Orange for the U.S. military.
Commenting on the results, defoliant expert, Wayne Dwernychuk, stated, “The presence of 2,4,5-T, that portion of Agent Orange containing TCDD and 2,4-D, the other half of the Agent Orange mixture, unequivocally defines at least some of the media sampled as being contaminated with this defoliant. Dow Chemical markers on the drums further contribute to this conclusion that the original contents of some of these drums was Agent Orange.”
Likewise, Honda Katsuhisa, an Ehime University professor specializing in defoliants and dioxins, asserted that the results proved without doubt that defoliants had been buried at the dumpsite.
The Pentagon denies that Agent Orange was ever present on Okinawa despite testimony from more than 250 U.S. veterans who claim they were sickened by the defoliant on the island during the Vietnam War era. A 1971 U.S. government report on Agent Orange cites the presence of a herbicide stockpile at Kadena; the site where the 61 barrels were buried was part of Kadena Air Base, one of the Pentagon’s primary transport hubs for the Vietnam War, until restored to civilian usage in 1987.
According to the data released by Okinawa City, all 61 barrels contained traces of dioxin and standing water near the barrels showed dioxin at levels 64 times the environmental standard. However dioxin readings from the soil were below maximum permitted limits and there was no evidence of contamination of the water table.
Twenty of the barrels also contained traces of toxic polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
This article also appeared in the Asia-Pacific Journal
READ MORE: http://www.globalresearch.ca/all-agent-orange-ingredients-unearthed-at-u-s-military-dumpsite-on-okinawa/5395812

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Demanding justice for Agent Orange victims

The seventy-two-year-old lady gets attention from everyone in the room for her confidence. It is not surprising that I don't notice any signs of ailment, not to mention serious diseases that Nga has contracted as a consequence of dioxin.
Unlike most people who might have collapsed after being diagnosed with dioxin in their blood, Nga remembered that she was in tears but felt extremely joyous when receiving medical test results which showed her exposure to high levels of dioxin in her blood.
"It doesn't matter if test results are available or not as the diseases are already there in my body. What is important is that they are proof for us to file a lawsuit against US chemical companies," Nga says softly.
She knows without a shadow of a doubt that it is not only her and her loved ones being tortured by the fatal disease, but several millions of people who are living in physical and mental agony.
It is nearly 40 years since the anti-American war ended, but Nga - a petite Vietnamese French national decided to sue giant US chemical companies for producing and providing Agent Orange, also known as one of the herbicides and defoliants, which were then sprayed by the American forces in Viet Nam's southern battlefields.
Working side by side with her is Paris-based William Bourdon & Forestier law firm. The two, as one, filed the lawsuit against the US chemical companies on June 11 in a local court in Evry City, demanding compensation.
"If it had not been for the millions of Agent Orange victims who died and/or could not go to the courts to sue US companies for reasons beyond their control, I would not have come forward to file this lawsuit," Nga says, denying what someone said about her being courageous.
"It is Agent Orange victims and advocates of the lawsuit who gave me strength and braveness to confront the US chemical companies. I am not brave at all," she says.
A victim and witness at an International People's Tribunal of Conscience in 2009, Nga lodged a complaint in the court by herself, narrating the heart-breaking stories of Agent Orange victims and those who died from breathing and being affected by the toxic chemicals.
Her stories moved many people at the tribunal which included lawyer William Bourdon, who later represented Nga.
"Compared with other Agent Orange victims my story is just normal," she says sincerely, not talking about her current role as a claimant, but simply comparing herself as a 'hyphen' between people.
"I have been playing my role as a 'hyphen' between people. In the wartime, I used to be a courier. Through working with donors I have also connected them with 400 children who suffer from a cleft lip and/or cleft palate to undergo smile operations. And now I go between the court and Agent Orange victims," she says. 
READ MORE: http://english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/society/108509/demanding-justice-for-agent-orange-victims.html

Agent Orange Town Hall - Wichita

WICHITA, Kansas — A national group of Vietnam veterans gathered in Wichita Thursday to discuss issues with the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Among the issues discussed at the Vietnam Veterans of America Kansas State Council town hall meeting, were the medical effects of exposure to Agent Orange on veterans and their families. Agent Orange is a defoliant that the United States used against Vietcong forces in war.
The toxic chemical has been proven to have devastating medical consequences on those who came in contact with it and on generations afterward; including birth defects, learning disabilities, and diseases.
Thursday’s “Vietnam Veterans of America” forum, held in downtown Wichita, was the fifth town hall meeting of its kind in Kansas. More than 100 veterans were in attendance.
Larry MacIntire, of the Hays chapter Kansas State Council president of Vietnam Veterans of America, was exposed to Agent Orange while serving in the U.S. Navy in Vietnam.
MacIntire was only 19 years old when he received his first assignment. MacIntire served on swift boats in Hanoi from 1967 – 1968.
MacIntire was there, “when they sprayed the whole island, so in case any prisoners escaped, they could find ‘em,” he explained.
Larry MacIntire has a long list of medical problems including prostate cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure. His son, as a newborn, experienced serious medical issues believed to have been caused by the exposure.
“One of my sons was born with what they call Esophageal Tracheal Fistula, and that’s where wind pipe and throat pipe connected… I just thought it was some kind of fluke. That’s one of the causes,” said MacIntire.
“We cannot be silent about the effects of our battlefield exposures on our children in the face of overwhelming evidence connecting many diseases and birth defects to exposure to Agent Orange and other toxic chemicals,” said Ron Zink, VVA Kansas State Council President, as written in a press release distributed by the group.
Republican U.S. Senator Jerry Moran addressed the audience at the town hall meeting, offering remarks about the current state of the VA.
“Americans, Congress, the president, [they] can’t look the other way. The Department of Veterans Affairs cannot look the other way with the circumstances that so many families are now facing,” said Sen. Moran.
Sen. Moran spoke about the current need by family members of Vietnam vets for assistance due to the medical conditions caused by Agent Orange exposure.
“Our responsibility remains to see that we care for those who served our country, and now that there’s an additional requirement, that we care for their children and grandchildren,” said Moran.
The senator has introduced a bipartisan bill called the ‘Toxic Exposure Act.’ If passed, it would fund research into the long-term effects of Agent Orange; with the hope of eventually also covering the family members suffering from the effects of the toxic chemical.
“What really matters is that we do the medical research that prevents more and more veterans, and their family members from experiencing the consequences of war,” said Moran.