Monday, November 23, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

AOZ will return Monday, November 30. Enjoy this time with your families.

What are we waiting for?
Agent Orange/dioxin has killed more Americans than al-Qaida, the Islamic State, Boko Haram, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard combined. It has managed to do this without any significant action from our government to stop the slaughter of American veterans and their families.
Currently two bills, Senate Bill 901 and House Resolution 1769, the Toxic Exposure Research Act of 2015, languish in Congress because those we elect choose to ignore the simple fact that Agent Orange/dioxin is injuring and killing people 40 years after the Vietnam War ended.
It is now 50 years since our “official” entry into the war in Vietnam on Nov. 14, 1965, when elements of the 1st Air Cavalry Division engaged a superior North Vietnamese force in the Ia Drang Valley. Gen. Hal Moore and journalist Joe Galloway chronicled this battle in the book “We Were Soldiers Once and Young,” subsequently made into the Mel Gibson film “We Were Soldiers.”
What are we waiting for?
In 1983, scholar Fred Wilcox penned a book titled “Waiting for an Army to Die” about the tragedy of Agent Orange/dioxin. In it, the author quotes a young Vietnam veteran, 28-year-old Paul Reutershan, who told the “Today” show in spring 1978, “I died in Vietnam, but I didn’t even know it.”
This was only three years after we left Vietnam. He died less than six months later from the cancer that had destroyed his colon, liver and abdomen.
These two bills are very simple in their effort to address the crisis of birth defects in the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of those men and women who served our nation in Vietnam.

Read more here:

Vietnam Vets warned of increased risk of Hepatitis C
Bill Allen admitted he started using drugs at 14 and several years later was drafted into the Vietnam War, where he continued to drink and use drugs.
He has been clean and sober for more than 25 years but after hearing from a lot of friends who had contracted Hepatitis C, he decided to get tested himself.
In 2000 he said learned he did have the virus, but was still pretty healthy although his liver had early signs of cirrhosis. His doctor tried a variety of different medications, but he did not respond to treatments.
"My doctor told me to keep living a healthy life and don't drink and don't do drugs," he said.
Allen had he continued to be symptom free but about a year ago he tried new drugs to fight Hepatitis C. Tests show he is now free of the virus.
This week he joined with a variety of veterans' organizations and advocates to warn other Vietnam Veterans that they have a higher chance of contracting Hepatitis C during the war and should be tested.
"Ten percent of Vietnam Veterans could have Hepatitis C," said Jodi Reese, a clinical educator who spoke about the disease to a group of veterans at the Chicopee Senior Center.
Hepatitis C is a virus found in the blood. It generally comes with few symptoms but can seriously damage the liver over time.
"There was a lot of blood in the war," she said. People used intravenous drugs, got tattoos and, if someone was injured, no one put on gloves before trying to help him.
In addition, troops heading to Vietnam were lined up to be vaccinated for multiple diseases. Nurses or doctors used a gun-like device to inoculate the large number of people and medical experts believe there was likely blood carried from one person to the next on the device, she said.

Reality Check: The Agent Orange Effect
BLACK MOUNTAIN, N.C. -- For many Vietnam veterans, the war still isn't over 45 years later because of lingering effects from Agent Orange.
Agent Orange was a mixture of herbicides used to kill jungle overgrowth to reveal their enemies' hiding places.
Veterans, their children, and even grandchildren are living with the sad consequences and many without compensation.
Ted Minnick, 69, of Black Mountain was raised in the Air Force and then laced up his own boots.
"When I went to Vietnam, I had been married two years and had a three-month-old daughter and served in Vietnam from July '69 to July '70," Minnick said.
With more than 39 years under his military belt, including more than seven years on active duty, Minnick has stories for days about the Army but not many of them have happy endings because of Agent Orange.
"It could have been anywhere. It's an aerosol spray and it goes all over. It kind of looked like a real thin maple syrup. I mean it was that color and that consistency," Minnick said. "There were over 300 pounds of dioxin sprayed over Vietnam in a short period of time."
Veterans and their families still can't escape Agent Orange even though the war is long over because of the health problems caused by it.


Friday, November 20, 2015

Upcoming Agent Orange Town Hall Meetings

November 21, 2015

Portland, Oregon
Contact :Gary McAdams  

January 23, 2016

Breese, Illinois
Maurice Zurleine

February 13, 2016

Mesa, Arizona
Contact: Michael Marks

March 11, 2016
Elizabeth Town, Kentucky
Contact: David Cowherd

April 16, 201 6
Kansas City, Missouri
Contact: Randy Barnett


Interview a Vietnam Veteran With ProPublica and StoryCorps
This summer, ProPublica and our partners at The Virginian-Pilot asked Vietnam-era veterans to help us investigate the generational impact of Agent Orange exposure by sharing their stories with us. More than 3,400 people have done so, including nearly 600 spouses, sons and daughters of veterans. Many of these relatives are concerned that their veteran's health problems — and sometimes their own — may be tied to wartime exposure to the toxic chemicals.
Mary said she believes her husband Robert's health issues — which include Parkinson's disease – are connected to Agent Orange. Robert served as an Army nurse in 1967 and 1968 in Da Nang, Vietnam.
"Robert worked in evacuation hospitals on the front lines," Mary wrote. "He met and helped evacuate the wounded from the medical helicopters, removed their contaminated clothing and prepared them for surgical procedures."
Tamara suspects her father Stanley's heart and neurological issues are tied to his service in the Army's 25th Infantry Division, which also operated in Da Nang.
"My father explains about being completely covered in Agent Orange during his tour in Vietnam," Tamara wrote. "He was in constant contact with the ground and foliage. He suffers from severe [pulmonary disease] and is oxygen dependent due to breathing Agent Orange and living IN IT!"
Four decades after the fall of Saigon, these families and many other Vietnam veterans are struggling with health problems they say are related to Agent Orange.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Agent Orange Review: A government newsletter devoted to its own war crimes
The United States Government Printing Office (USGPO) is the largest publisher in the world. It publishes almost everything the federal government does – with the exception of “classified” information, which isn’t published immediately, but is declassified and published after about a 30-year delay.
Although USGPO may seem like a triumph of free speech, the fact is, hardly any Americans take advantage of it – or even know about it.
The United States Veterans Administration, for instance, has been publishing a newsletter called Agent Orange Review since 1982. America must be the only country where the government publishes a newsletter devoted to its own crimes! Unfortunately, probably only a tiny fraction of US veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange are even aware of the Agent Orange Review.
From issues of this newsletter, it’s possible to determine how the VA’s Agent Orange policy evolved. All the issues are archived online here.
Here’s an excerpt from the first issue, published in 1982:
Q. Will the VA treat Vietnam veterans who have health problems that they believe may have been caused by exposure to Agent Orange? A. Under Public Law 97-72, approved on November 3, 1981, the VA can treat eligible veterans for certain disabilities that may have been caused by exposure to Agent Orange. Guidelines have been issued to all VA medical centers in order to implement this legislation. Individual veterans should contact the nearest VA medical center to determine their eligibility.
Q. Has any evidence been found that medical problems were actually caused by exposure to Agent Orange? A. At present, the best available scientific evidence fails to indicate that exposure to Agent Orange or other herbicides used in Vietnam has caused any long-term health problems for veterans or their children. One effect sometimes observed after dioxin exposure is a skin disorder, called chloracne, which in appearance resembles some common forms of acne. While some of the people exposed to dioxin in industrial accidents developed chloracne almost immediately, this reaction has not been firmly established among Vietnam veterans.
Translation: As of 1982, the government was willing to admit that Agent Orange “may have” poisoned US troops, but still denied that there was evidence to prove it.

Japanese tech could rid Vietnam of war's toxic legacy
HANOI -- Expectations are growing that Japanese technology will help erase one of the darkest legacies of the Vietnam War -- the lingering presence of Agent Orange.
     Although 40 years have passed since the end of the war, areas of Vietnam remain highly contaminated with the chemical defoliant used by the U.S. military in its herbicidal warfare program.
     Japanese construction company Shimizu brought contaminated soil from Vietnam to Japan in late October to begin experiments in purifying it. The Vietnamese government is paying close attention to the outcome, as Shimizu's technology proved effective in purifying soil polluted from the nuclear disaster at Tokyo Electric Power's Fukushima Daiichi power plant in March 2011.
Lingering danger
During the war, the U.S. military had an airfield in Bien Hoa in the southern Vietnamese province of Dong Nai, located about an hour's drive from Ho Chi Minh City. The airfield, which is currently used by the Vietnamese Air Force, is "the most dioxin-contaminated place in the world," according to Vietnamese daily Bao Thanh Nien.
     U.S. military planes that sprayed chemical defoliants containing dioxins and other toxic substances were washed at the airfield after returning from their missions. The location has remained highly contaminated, possibly because the water used to wash the planes penetrated deep into the soil, carrying contaminants with it.
     Areas around the former U.S. air bases in Da Nang and Phu Cat, in the central and southern parts of Vietnam, respectively, are highly contaminated for similar reasons. Along with Bien Hoa, they are known as the "three hot spots."

Agent Orange links

Agent Orange Links
*Submitted by George Claxton
Clinics in Mother and Child Health
Parabens and Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Ligands Cross-Talk in Breast Cancer Cells
Effects of glutathione on the in vivo metabolism and oxidative stress of arsenic in mice.
Sperm Aneuploidy in Faroese Men with Lifetime Exposure to Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) and Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) Pollutants
Arsenic Exposure and Glucose Intolerance/Insulin Resistance in Estrogen-Deficient Female Mice
Prepubertal Serum Concentrations of Organochlorine Pesticides and Age at Sexual Maturity in Russian Boys
Cigarette smoke as a trigger for the dioxin receptor-mediated signaling pathway.
Associations between DNA methylation in DNA damage response-related genes and cytokinesis-block micronucleus cytome index in diesel engine exhaust-exposed workers.
Oxidative DNA damage enhances the carcinogenic potential of in vitro chronic arsenic exposures.
Exposure to coplanar PCBs induces endothelial cell inflammation through epigenetic regulation of NF-κB subunit p65.
Early life exposure to PCB126 results in delayed mortality and growth impairment in the zebrafish larvae
Low level arsenic contaminated water consumption and birth outcomes in Romania-An exploratory study.
Dioxins and cytogenetic status of villagers after 40 years of agent Orange application in Vietnam.
A Study of 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin Induced Liver Injury in Jian Carp (Cyprinus carpio var. Jian) Using Precision-Cut Liver Slices
Association between Dioxin and Diabetes Mellitus in an Endemic Area of Exposure in Taiwan: A Population-Based Study.
Multigenerational and transgenerational effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals: A role for altered epigenetic regulation?
Current approaches in sample preparation for trace analysis of selected endocrine disrupting compounds. focus on polychlorinated biphenyls, alkylphenols and parabens.
Dioxin contamination of bird eggs from different Vietnam provinces
Persistent organic pollutants and male reproductive health.
Tumor necrosis factor-α inhibits effects of aryl hydrocarbon receptor ligands on cell death in human lymphocytes
The expression of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor in reproductive and neuroendocrine tissues during the estrous cycle in the pig.
Effects of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin and phytoestrogen genistein on the activity and the presence of steroidogenic enzyme proteins in cultured granulosa cells of pigs.
Exposure to dioxins and dioxin-like substances a major public health concern
Telomere measurement in individuals occupationally exposed to pesticide mixtures in tobacco fields
Maternal Transfer of Bisphenol A During Nursing Causes Sperm Impairment in Male Offspring.
Endocrine-disrupting compounds and mammary gland development: early exposure and later life consequences.
Endocrine-disrupting chemicals pose global health threat, experts say
Contribution of breast milk and formula to arsenic exposure during the first year of life in a US prospective cohort.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Monday, November 9, 2015

Fort Detrick investigating remnants of Agent Orange, radioactivity on post
Fort Detrick is investigating locations scattered through its main post for remnants of Agent Orange and radioactive waste in addition to ongoing toxin testing near Area B.
Joseph Gortva, manager of the Fort Detrick Environmental Restoration Program, presented the information to the Restoration Advisory Board on Wednesday evening as part of his division’s planned activities for fiscal 2016. The board serves as a forum to keep the community, government agencies and Fort Detrick officials informed of all cleanup activities on post.
The Army’s current investigation into herbicide-related toxins and radioactivity started with a review of archival records pertaining to the post’s history of biological warfare research and possible releases of waste into the environment. The review was completed in 2014.
The Army is now working with contractors to look at sites on the main post and on Rosemont Avenue where Agent Orange and other herbicides were stored or used, and 18 sites on post where radioactive materials were used.
The 18 sites are mainly concentrated near buildings along Miller Drive, Chandler Street and Sultan Street on post, around the National Cancer Institute’s office buildings.
There is a “low likelihood” of finding residual herbicides or radioactive byproducts, according to Gortva, but the Army’s contractors will perform soil and gamma ray testing to confirm that.
The Army is also looking at 11 former incinerator locations on the main post that may have deposited metals and left-behind petroleum products, among other chemicals, in soil and groundwater. Those sites are also near NCI property on the post.