Friday, July 30, 2010
Has the Senator forgotten his Veteran and Marine Corps roots?
Dear Mr. __________
Thank you for contacting my office regarding veterans affected by Agent Orange. I appreciate your taking the time to share your views.
Our nation has a special obligation to provide health care to our service members and veterans, particularly those with an injury or illness resulting from their service. I have spent my entire adult life advocating on behalf of veterans and will continue to fight for the best interests of the men and women who serve our nation in uniform. Furthermore, from 1977 to 1981 I had the honor of serving as a full committee counsel on the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, and spent a great deal of time working on this specific issue.
On March 25, 2010, the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced his intention to add B-cell Leukemia, Parkinson's disease, and coronary artery disease to the list of presumptive conditions associated with exposure to Agent Orange. This decision was taken without full consultation with the Congress. Consequently, during consideration of the bill to provide funding for this determination, I introduced an amendment clarifying that under existing law the VA is required to provide a 60-day congressional review period prior to spending funds under the proposed new regulation. I am a staunch defender of Congress's constitutional oversight responsibility. To that end, I have requested that the VA provide the scientific data used by the Secretary to make his determination. He is now scheduled to do so in a hearing that will be held in September.
As a Vietnam combat veteran, former full committee counsel to the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, and as a current member of the Senate Committees on Armed Services and Veterans' Affairs, I take a back seat to no one in my concern for our veterans. Your views on veterans affected by Agent Orange are very helpful to me and my staff, and I hope that you will continue to share your views with us in the years ahead. I would also invite you to visit my website at http://www.webb.senate.gov/ for regular updates about my activities and positions on matters that are important to Virginia and our nation.
Thank you once again for contacting my office.
United States Senator
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Paul … more on what George Claxton posted on pesticide impurities.
Polychlorinated Dibenzo-p-Dioxins and Dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) Impurities in Pesticides: A Neglected Source of Contemporary Relevance
Eva Holt, Roland Weber, Gavin Stevenson and Caroline Gaus
The University of Queensland, National Research Centre for Environmental Toxicology (EnTox), 39 Kessels Road Coopers Plains, QLD 4108, Australia, POPs Environmental Consulting, 73035 Gppingen, Germany, and The National Measurement Institute, Dioxin Analysis Unit, Pymble, NSW 2072, Australia
Environ. Sci. Technol., 2010, 44 (14), pp 5409-5415
Publication Date (Web): June 18, 2010
Copyright© 2010 American Chemical Society
* Address correspondence to either author. e-mail: email@example.com;firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University of Queensland.
POPs Environmental Consulting.
The National Measurement Institute.
Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) may be formed during the manufacture of chlorinated pesticides, and can remain in the products as impurities. However, the contemporary release of PCDD/Fs to the environment from pesticide use is poorly understood. For this study, 27 pesticide formulations were analyzed for PCDD/Fs (n = 23 registered for use in Australia). PCDD/F impurities were present in all samples, ranging from 0.020 to 2100 ng Î£PCDD/F gâˆ’1 active ingredient (AI). Among current use pesticides, pentachloronitrobenzene (PCNB) contained the highest impurity levels (up to 2000 ng Î£PCDD/F gâˆ’1 AI and 5.6 ng TEQ gâˆ’1 AI). The quantity of pesticide used in Australia and associated release of PCDD/Fs was estimated for PCNB and phenoxy herbicides (2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and 2,4-dichlorophenoxybutyric acid (2,4-DB)) using a probabilistic approach. Input parameters to model pesticide use contributed the highest proportions to the variability of the estimated PCDD/F release, and were considered to have the highest uncertainty. Preliminary estimates of PCDD/F release suggest that contaminated pesticides represent an important ongoing PCDD/F source to the Australian environment (10thâˆ’90th percentiles for PCNB = 14âˆ’42 and 2,4-D/2,4-DB = 0.35âˆ’1.6 g TEQ annumâˆ’1). These results may have global relevance given that many of the pesticides analyzed were imported into Australia, and are used in high volumes in other countries.
Did you ever notice that most pesticides do not have impurities listed. A new study from Australia tested the impurities in two forms of 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid. 2,4-D was half of the herbicide Agent Orange. The manufacturers would have the world believe that 2,4-D contained no toxins such as Polychlorinated Dioxins or Polychlorinated Difurans.
The study titled "Polychlorinated Dibenzo-p-Dioxins and Dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs. Impurities in Pesticides: A Neglected Source of Contemporary Relevance". This was published in the journal "Environmental Science and Technology", accepted June 7, 2010. The authors were Eva Holt, et al.
The authors stated that "PCDD/F impurities were present in all samples". Also, "Preliminary estimates of PCDD/F release suggest that contaminated pesticides represent an important ongoing PCDD/F source to the Australian Government". These results may have global relevance given that many of the pesticides analyzed were imported into Australia, and are used in high volumes in other countries".
Friday, July 23, 2010
BYLINE: Riz Khan
Millions of Vietnamese are still dealing with the impact of the Vietnam War more than three decades after its end. Generations are suffering from the effects of Agent Orange, a chemical defoliant used by the US military to strip the land of vegetation to deny food sources and hiding places for Viet Cong fighters.
View the video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNNiFB1oTi0
Dioxin left by Agent Orange used by U.S. forces during the Vietnam War still plagues the Southeast Asian country, and tens of millions of dollars are needed to clean up “hot spots” where concentrations are especially high, U.S. officials say.
High on that list is the airport at Da Nang, Vietnam’s third-largest city, John Wilson, technical support director for USAID’s Asian and Middle East bureaus, told a recent hearing by a House of Representatives subcommittee, noting that the airport is scheduled for a major expansion.
“Given the extent of contamination, the imminent airport construction plans, and the potential threat to the local population, it is important that we act now to remediate the dioxin at Da Nang airport to ensure that airport construction work does not increase exposure to dioxin for area residents and travelers,” Wilson said.
Read more at: http://www.rfa.org/english/news/vietnam/agent-orange-07202010172252.html
BYLINE: Eleanor Clift
The last stop on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's Asian tour this week is Vietnam, where she will discuss among other things an enduring remnant of the war, the after-effects of Agent Orange. The U.S. government belatedly recognized the impact of the deadly defoliant on American troops, but has resisted accepting responsibility for the damage the chemical inflicted on the Vietnamese with birth defects still evident decades after the end of the war.
Clinton, who arrives in Vietnam Thursday, is expected to address the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam to encourage support for a $300 million, 10-year plan developed by the Aspen Institute as part of the U.S.-Vietnam Dialogue Group on Agent Orange/Dioxin to clean up dioxin "hot spots" and help people with disabilities, while stopping short of linking those disabilities to the Agent Orange spraying.
Common Cause head Bob Edgar, a member of the Dialogue Group and an ordained minister, described to reporters in a conference call how he and a group of clergy on a recent trip to Vietnam could see and smell the virulent defoliant still seeping out of the ground in Da Nang , a major port city in Vietnam .
He told how a guide had them stop ahead of time in Ho Chi Minh City to buy waterproof, disposable shoes, and when they landed at the Da Nang aiport and saw the devastation, realized why they needed them. The airport was the major U.S. air base during the war, serving as the supply depot for Agent Orange, and the toxic chemicals have not been cleaned up. Edgar described walking on a platform over the area where the dioxin was processed, and where U.S. troops would cut the barrels in half and use them to cook their food.
Read more at: http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/07/20/agent-orange-cleanup-a-priority-for-hillary-clinton-in-vietnam/
HANOI — United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, on a visit to Vietnam Thursday, vowed to increase cooperation in dealing with the legacy of the wartime herbicide Agent Orange.
US aircraft sprayed the chemicals during the Vietnam War to strip trees of foliage in order to deprive communist Viet Cong forces of cover and food.
"We've been working with Vietnam for about nine years to try to remedy the effects of Agent Orange. I will work to increase our cooperation and make even greater progress together," Clinton said at a press conference on the sidelines of a regional security meeting.
Potentially cancer-causing dioxin was a component of Agent Orange and other herbicides sprayed by American forces.
Since 2007, the US Congress has appropriated nine million dollars to help Vietnam clean up the contamination, and for related health activities.
Experts have identified three former US air bases as "hot spots" of dioxin contamination, but decontaminating all three of them would cost an estimated 59 million dollars, most of which still needs to be committed, a United Nations adviser in Hanoi said last month.
A Vietnamese doctor testified before the US Congress last week that more than three million Vietnamese have suffered the effects of the herbicide.
Vietnam and the US normalised relations 15 years ago.
By MARK LANDLER
Published: July 22, 2010
HANOI, Vietnam — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton chided Vietnam on Thursday for intolerance of dissent and infringement of Internet freedom, even as she celebrated its 15 years of normalized relations with the United States.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during a news conference with Pham Gia Khiem, Vietnam’s foreign minister, in Hanoi on Thursday.
Mrs. Clinton said she raised the issues of jailed democracy activists, attacks on religious groups and curbs on social-networking Web sites during a meeting with Vietnam’s deputy prime minister, Pham Gia Khiem.
The United States will prod Vietnam’s government “to pursue reforms and protect basic rights and freedoms,” she said at a news conference, as Mr. Khiem stood expressionless beside her.
“Vietnam, with its extraordinary, dynamic population, is on the path to becoming a great nation, with an unlimited potential,” she added. “That is among the reasons we expressed concern.”
Mr. Khiem replied that human rights policies were rooted in unique cultural and historical circumstances. He cited what he said was President Obama’s observation that countries should be allowed to choose their own paths and that human rights should not be imposed from outside.
The timing of Mrs. Clinton’s remarks here, at the start of a two-day stop that includes an Asian regional security meeting, suggested that she wanted to make her point and move on. She emphasized that the United States would increase cooperation on trade and investment, and would do more to help people suffering lingering effects from Agent Orange, a chemical spray the American military used as a defoliant during the Vietnam War.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
After looking at 10 years’ worth of cancer data, researchers at the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center found that service members tend to have higher rates of melanoma, brain, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, breast, prostate and testicular cancers than civilians.
They also found interesting differences across the services. Airmen are more likely to suffer skin cancer than other service members, for example, while sailors are the most likely to have lung cancer. Coast Guardsmen have the highest rates of testicular cancer, while Marines tend to the have the lowest cancer rates overall.
Military researchers say the rates have remained stable — though the incidence rate of these particular kinds of cancer has increased from 51 per 100,000 troops in 2000, to 57.5 per 100,000 in 2006, and then back down to 54.5 per 100,000 in 2009. “There were no clear trends of increasing or decreasing incidence of specific [cancer] sites or overall” cancer rates, the report states. “In general, the strongest demographic correlate of increased risk of a cancer was older age.”
That held true for all cancers except for cervical and testicular, the report states.
READ MORE: http://www.armytimes.com/news/2010/07/military_cancer_rates_statistics_072010w/?utm_source=twitterfeed
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Even when the letter came in 1984, Sharon Perry and her late husband, Reuben “Bud” Perry III, didn’t make any connection with Agent Orange. No red flags were raised about what was happening in their home, happening to him, happening to their daughters. The oldest, Danielle, would be sick all her life. The youngest, Lisbeth, would be diagnosed with autism — but not until she was 26. Lisbeth would have a son and he, too, would be diagnosed with autism. Bud would die in 2005 after many difficult years of dealing with the aftermath of the Vietnam War.
But in 1984, they stood in the kitchen, reading the letter about a class-action suit brought on behalf of veterans who may be suffering from the lingering effects of Agent Orange. They didn’t think it had anything to do with them.
“I’ll always remember standing in the kitchen and looking at one another and saying to him, ‘you’re not sick,’ ” she said.
She saved the letter anyway.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
by Chuck Searcy
With due respect to the good work Jim Doyle has done and continues to do, with this blog and other activities focused on Agent Orange and the legacies of the war in Vietnam, the criticism of Charles Bailey is inaccurate. It fails to acknowledge the significant contributions Charles and the Ford Foundation have made toward recognizing not only the suffering of American vets exposed to Agent Orange -- which has been well documented over the years and has resulted in at least some assistance to veterans -- but which NOW, finally, is starting to bring some attention to the Vietnamese who have suffered alone and mostly in silence for more than three decades. This problem is inclusive, and the solutions ought to be inclusive as well. Charles Bailey's article does note the burdens borne by American vets and their families, which opened the door to awareness of this terrible issue. But the point is that the door needs to be opened wider for the Vietnamese, as well. If we insist that health interventions and other benefits should focus on American vets and not the Vietnamese, we are giving excuses to those who will try to stall and derail long overdue interventions that should be directed toward all who suffer, Vietnamese as well as Americans.
It must be noted that Chuck and I are friends, and this is a dialogue, not an argument.
Friday, July 16, 2010
23 year old Tran Thi Hoan testifying before US Congress
Vietnam Agent Orange victim wants 'human response' to ongoing tragedy
By Karin Zeitvogel
WASHINGTON, Friday 16 July 2010 (AFP) - At 23, Tran Thi Hoan dreams the dreams of a typical young woman: find a good job, start a family and, as a native of a country long ravaged by war, live in peace.
But Hoan is a victim of Agent Orange, the herbicide laced with dioxin-tainted defoliant that was sprayed across huge swaths of Vietnam between in the 1960s and early 1970s, and she fears that she could pass on the poison that saw her born without legs and with a withered hand to her children.
So she's let go of part of her dream.
"Maybe my children will be disabled like me. So I don't believe I can get married," Hoan told AFP after she became the first Vietnamese victim of Agent Orange to testify before the US Congress.
"I'm worried," she added quietly.
Hoan had just read a three-page testimony in English to US lawmakers in a packed hearing room.
"I am not unique, but am one of hundreds of thousands of people whose lives have been marked by our parents' or grandparents' exposure to Agent Orange," she said.
"I was born as you see me: without legs and missing a hand."
READ MORE: http://www.mysinchew.com/node/41887
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Testimony before the Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and the Global Environment Committee on Foreign Affairs
July 15, 2010
Chairman Faleomavaega, Ranking Member Manzullo, and Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for inviting me to testify today on the topic of United States engagement with Vietnam on issues related to Agent Orange.
It is important to place U.S.-Vietnam cooperation on the complex and challenging issues surrounding Agent Orange in the context of progress in our overall bilateral relationship. This year marks the 15th anniversary of our diplomatic relationship with Vietnam. Over this short period, U.S.-Vietnam cooperation has steadily matured into a robust bilateral relationship, characterized by mutual respect and shared interests. We continue to make progress on a growing range of issues, from trade liberalization, health and environment, to education, nuclear safety, and security. Our strong collaboration on these issues has created a positive environment that has allowed frank discussions of matters on which we do not agree, such as human rights. USAID/Vietnam works in close partnership with the Vietnamese government, and with our colleagues in the Departments of Defense and Health and Human Services, and in the Environmental Protection Agency, to implement a broad foreign assistance program. As part of that program, USAID has provided over $330 million in the last ten years.
READ MORE: http://www.state.gov/p/eap/rls/rm/2010/07/144702.htm
Thursday, July 15, 2010
In an effort to generate public support for US government funding of the cleanup of Dioxin contaminated sites in Vietnam, and compensation and treatment for Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange, the Ford Foundation, lead by Charles Bailey (C.Bailey@fordfoundation.org), has launched a well funded public relations campaign managed by Communications Consortium Media Center (401 Ninth Street, NW, Suite 450, Washington, DC 20004, Phone: 202-326-8700 Email: email@example.com.)
Bailey, a Director at Ford Foundation who was educated at Cornell University, Princeton University, and Swarthmore College (no military service indicated) has devoted most of the last several years toward achieving the foundation goal of compensation and treatment for Vietnamese Agent Orange victims.
In a 1600+ word article in the June 2010 issue of Alliance (Volume 15, Number 2, www.alliancemagazine.org), “Tackling the Agent Orange Legacy in Vietnam” Bailey devotes a total of 23 words to the problem faced by US Agent Orange veterans and their children while outlining in great detail the Ford Foundation plan for testing and cleaning of Dioxin contaminated sites in Vietnam, including treatment and support centers for Vietnamese affected by Dioxin.
Since 2000 the Ford Foundation and other American foundations, the United Nations and other foreign supporters have committed nearly $24 million dollars to this effort.
In the article Bailey writes passionately and convincingly about the need to address and mitigate the problem in Vietnam. His words are those of someone who seems to fully understand the implications of the use of Agent Orange and the resulting health effects suffered by those who have had their lives profoundly changed by exposure to the Dioxin in the chemical soup that was sprayed over Vietnam during the war.
Despite his understanding and compassion for Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin poisoning, Bailey remains painfully silent about the plight of his fellow citizens who served and were exposed to the same poisons and suffer the same fate. It seems the least he can do is speak on their behalf as well.
When significant numbers of Vietnam Veterans have reported children and/or grandchildren with birth defects related to Agent Orange exposure, why does Charles Bailey fail to act on their behalf?
Is he Waiting for An Army to Die?
Ask him at
* Waiting for An Army to Die: The Tragedy of Agent Orange
Fred A. Wilcox
(Random House 1983)
Infants Ingest Dioxin at 77 Times EPA’s Safe Threshold
In that time we have developed a mailing list of nearly 1400 people, many of
whom distribute it to their own lists, reaching countless people who have
an interest in the Agent Orange issue, including some in Europe
and other parts of the world.
Thank you for making this resource possible.
Monday, July 12, 2010
ADVISORY for 1-2 p.m. EDT Thursday, July 15 - Audio News Briefing on Agent Orange in Vietnam Prior to Secretary Clinton's Visit There
The U.S.-Vietnam Dialogue Group on Agent Orange/Dioxin, comprised of prominent citizens from both countries, has issued a Plan of Action recommending a 10-year effort to clean up "hot spots" of Agent Orange/dioxin at former U.S. military bases in Vietnam where the chemical was stored and handled during the war. Further, the Plan of Action urged policymakers to provide "humanitarian assistance" to Vietnam's 3 million disabled people, including at least 150,000 children, some of whom may have been affected by dioxin.
Such an effort would also promote exchange of best practices and information about dioxin's health effects so as to benefit the generations of affected U.S. veterans and their families.
The Agent Orange in Vietnam Information Initiative is sponsoring an audio press briefing to discuss Agent Orange/dioxin in Vietnam prior to Secretary Clinton's trip. Participating will be Bob Edgar, head of Common Cause and former head of the National Council of Churches, who recently led a delegation of U.S. clergy to Vietnam to inspect Agent Orange/dioxin hot spots; the delegation also looked at ways the Vietnam government is dealing with its disability population. Also participating will be David Devlin-Foltz, U.S.-Vietnam Dialogue Group on Agent Orange/Dioxin.
- - - -
Audio News Briefing on Agent Orange/Dioxin In Vietnam
Bob Edgar, President and CEO of Common Cause
David Devlin-Foltz, U.S.-Vietnam Dialogue Group on Agent Orange/Dioxin
When: Thursday, July 15, 1:00-2:00 p.m. (EDT)
How: Toll-Free Line: 800-344-6698, Pass Code: "Agent Orange"
To RSVP for the audio conference, contact Nancy Bennett at 800-834-1110
- - - - -
CONTACT: Nancy Bennett, 800-834-1110
For a copy of the Dialogue Group's recommendations, go to:
http://www.aspeninstitute.org/policy-work/agent-orange/program-home/us-vietnam-dialogue-group-declaration-plan . In addition, fact sheets on Agent Orange in Vietnam can be obtained by going to http://www.aspeninstitute.org/policy-work/agent-orange .
Sunday, July 11, 2010
These are some of the things Sharity
Keith-Reichard wrote on an Agent
Orange Web page:
• I was 2 when they diagnosed me with
Alopecia Universalis (loss of scalp and
• I was 11 the first time someone tried to
pull off my wig.
• I was almost 16 when they told me
I would never have children and
that I would have to undergo either
a “procedure” for many months or
surgery to have a “normal” sex life. I
had never even had a date.
• I was 21 before I could even talk to a
therapist about the embarrassing thing
that was wrong with me.
• I was 34 when I found out my condition
actually had a name — Mullerian
• I am 39 and I am still sad sometimes
that I will never have a child.
READ MORE: http://vva.org/Committees/AgentOrange/SHARITY.pdf
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (right) meets Thomas Harkin, chairman of the US Senate Committee for Health, Education, Labour and Pensions, during his visit to Viet Nam. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Dan
HA NOI — Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung yesterday asked the US Congress to increase aid to Viet Nam in order to alleviate and combat the effects of Agent Orange.
Dung made the request during a meeting with Thomas Harkin, chairman of the US Senate Committee for Health, Education, Labour and Pensions.
The leader applauded the US delegation's visit to the Agent Orange clean-up site in central Viet Nam, and said the practical activity would boost co-operative relations between the two countries.
Dung appreciated Harkin's contributions to relations between the two countries, and thanked him for his support of the US aid that had been given to combat the effects of the toxic chemical.
READ MORE: http://vietnamnews.vnagency.com.vn/Politics-Laws/201294/PM-asks-US-Congress-for-more-aid-in-combatting-Agent-Orange-effects.html
The thyroid gland is an important organ of the endocrine system. It is located in the front of the neck just below the voice box. This gland releases the hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), which control body metabolism. Controlling metabolism is critical for regulating mood, weight, and mental and physical energy levels.
If the body makes too much thyroid hormone, the condition is called hyperthyroidism. (An underactive thyroid leads to hypothyroidism.)
Graves disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. It is caused by an abnormal immune system response that causes the thyroid gland to produce too much thyroid hormones. Graves disease is most common in women over age 20. However, the disorder may occur at any age and may affect men as well.
It seems new research conducted in New York State indicates Graves Disease, and autoimmune disease could be linked to AO exposure.
Ajay Varanasi , MD , an endocrinology fellow at the University of Buffalo has researched a link between AO exposure and high rates of upstate New York veterans born between 1925, and 1953, the time period most Vietnam Era Veterans were born. AO exposure seems to be a common thread in the number of cases diagnosed at the VA Hospital in Buffalo , NY .
Graves diease normally effects many more women than men, so this is at the very least unusual. Gaves is treatable, but may not be cureable in all cases. If you think you may have symptoms of Graves, get checked. It is a blood test called TSH.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
by George Claxton
I have been reading the articles on cancer from burn pits in the Gulf Wars. Also, I have been wondering about why there has been no investigation on the burning of human waste with fuel oil in Vietnam and probably in the Gulf Wars.
Everyone in Vietnam knows that the burning of human waste with fuel oil was a daily occurance in Vietnam. The combustion of fuel oil creates dioxins and difurans. This was documented by the study titled "Dioxins in Diesel Exhaust" which was written by C. Clunies-Ross and published in the journal Nature; volume 381, page 379, on May 30, 1996.
There is no question that human waste burners were exposed to massive amounts of smoke from the burning. Also, the burn pits in the Gulf almost certainly created dioxin's because of the plastic material that was burned. I have many studies on both of these issues. I have submitted my comments to Senator Carl Levin in Michigan and I'm sure he will get back to me. I just hope it will not be too late.
Over 1,000 people have signed our dioxin letter to EPA. Will you join them? We plan to hand deliver the letter to EPA next week!
Dioxin is the most toxic man-made substance on earth...and you have some for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day.
Dioxin is pervasive in fish, beef, milk, poultry, pork and eggs. Even infants get dioxin in breast milk.
Dioxin is a known cause of cancer. Learning disabilities, birth defects, endometriosis, and diabetes have all been linked to dioxin exposure. Dioxin weakens the human immune system and decreases the level of the male hormone testosterone.
Dioxin impacts all of us. Almost every man, woman and child in the U.S. have measurable levels of dioxin in their bodies.
We're up against some of the biggest chemical companies in the world, companies like Dow Chemical that have been spewing dioxin into our communities, which ends up in our food.
Can you sign our letter to EPA? We need your help now.
Thanks for all that you do.
Yours for a toxic-free future,
Mike Schade, PVC Campaign Coordinator
Center for Health, Environment & Justice (CHEJ)
PS - Can you also share the letter with your friends on Facebook and Twitter? Thanks so much.
PPS---Did you know that for over 20 years, the EPA's report on dioxin has been delayed time after time due to pressure from the chemical industry. Dioxin is one of the most toxic chemicals known to man. We can't let them get away with this!
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
WASHINGTON, July 1 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) leaves Friday on a congressional delegation trip to Vietnam led by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), the Senate health committee chairman.
Sanders, a member of the health committee, said one focus of the trip will be on the lingering health consequences from Agent Orange, the code name for one of the herbicides and defoliants widely used by the U.S. military in southeast Asia. Sanders also is a member of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, and supported the recent extension of benefits to veterans whose exposure to Agent Orange has led to heart disease, leukemia and Parkinson’s disease.
Trade policies and their impact on American workers is another issue that Sanders will explore on the trip during Congress’s one-week July recess.
Agent Orange remains a concern for many Vermonters who served during the Vietnam war. Sanders on June 19 participated in a town meeting in Montpelier hosted by Vermont veterans of the Vietnam War. They are concerned about birth defects and other lingering health consequences for families of servicemen exposed to Agent Orange.MORE: http://sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/news/?id=00153852-dc63-41e0-9259-6d97710b8581 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChMCpkuS2yI
Sanders will travel to Vietnam with Senators Al Franken (D-MN), Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR).
Linda Birnbaum, is a well respected expert on dioxins. She is also the Director of National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS).
If you only watch one video this year, this video on dioxin is a must. Don't miss it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50E0eGwqPv4&feature=player_embedded#!
Friday, July 2, 2010
The beat goes on, the beat goes on, Drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain, La de da de de, la de da de da
Christopher Sweet blames his wife's leukemia on the burn pits she was exposed to in Afghanistan.
Diagnosed in September 2008, Jessica Sweet died five months later. (CBS)
Special Report: Afghanistan
When soldiers go into war zones, they expect certain hazards on the battlefield but not necessarily on base, yet that's where hundreds of soldiers say they were exposed to toxic fumes, CBS News Correspondent Jeff Glor reports.
This week, the American Lung Association issued a strong recommendation for the military to discontinue the use of open-air trash burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan because they are a dangerous health risk. Hundreds of soldiers who've been exposed to the burn pits say inhaling the toxic smoke has inflicted them with severe breathing problems and even cancer.
Michele Pearce is a fighter. She battled stomach cancer in 2008. Then doctors discovered another tumor in her lung.
"I literally just said, 'Wow I could die,'" Pearce said.
Pearce - now in remission - was deployed to Iraq in 2006. She believes her cancer is connected to the months she spent inhaling smoke from base burn pits.
A few weeks ago Dr. Sanjay Gupta presented a program on CNN about the toxic pollution in Mossville, Louisiana. This program exposed the fact that there was a lot of dioxin contamination in Mossville and that there was a distinct possibility that the dioxin was from the chemical companies in the area. A spokesman for the chemical industry stated that dioxin is not related to any human health effects.
Perhaps the chemical industry could explain why the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) stated in 1997 that dioxin was a "human Carcinogen". This was published in volume 69 of the IARCs publications. IARC is part of the World Health Organization (WHO). This decision was followed by a ruling by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) that dioxin was a "human carcinogen" in January, 2001. This ruling can be obtained on the Internet in the United States (NTP-9th Report on Carcinogens).
There is plenty more reason why the people in Mossville should be worried. In December, 2009, IARC declared that two more dioxin like chemicals were considered "human carcinogens". These poisons are 2,3,4,7,8-Pentachlorodibenzofuran and 3,3,4,45-Pentachlorobiphenyl (PCB-126). These two toxins along with dioxin (2,3,7,8-TCDD) account for 75% of these type of toxins in humans. I got this info from the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). This is called the "total dioxin toxic equivalency". I find it difficult to believe that 2,3,4,7,8-PeDF and PCB 126 are not contaminants in Mossville.
George Claxton served as Chair of Vietnam Veterans of America National Agent Orange Committee for 12 years, and was a Plaintiff in what became the Agent Orange Class Action lawsuit, and Nehmer v. Veterans Administration.