Saturday, January 10, 2015

VA admits Agent Orange residue may have affected health of Air Force reservists
Air Force reservists based in the U.S. who worked after the Vietnam War in C-123
aircraft that sprayed Agent Orange during the war could have experienced adverse health effects from exposure to the herbicide, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine. The reservists who served in the contaminated C-123s experienced some degree of exposure to the toxic chemical component of Agent Orange known as TCDD (2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin), and it is plausible, in some cases, that the reservists exceeded TCDD exposure guidelines for workers in enclosed settings. After their use in Vietnam, 24 C-123 aircraft were added to the fleets of four U.S. Air Force reserve units for use in military airlifts and medical and cargo transport. From 1972 to 1982, approximately 1,500 to 2,100 U.S. Air Force Reserve personnel trained and worked aboard these C-123 aircraft. After becoming aware that these aircraft had previously sprayed Agent Orange, some Air Force Reservists applied to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for compensatory coverage under the Agent Orange Act of 1991 (AO Act), which provides health care and disability coverage for health conditions that have been deemed presumptively service-related and due to herbicide exposure during the Vietnam War.

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