S. 1939 - Agent Orange Equity Act of 2009 - To amend title 38, United States Code, to clarify presumptions relating to the exposure of certain veterans who served in the vicinity of the Republic of Vietnam, and for other purposes.
VVA reiterates our strong support for passage of S. 1939 the Agent Orange Equity Act, and the companion bill in the House of Representatives, H.R. 2254. VVA particularly thanks Senator Gillibrand of New York for introducing this proposed legislation. We must do whatever needs to be done, in this thirty fifth year since the end of the Vietnam war, to ensure that these veterans receive some measure of justice as soon as possible.
In the latest biennial update pursuant to the Agent Orange Act of 1991, the panel of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), of the National Academies of Science (NAS), unequivocally reiterated that there was no valid scientific reason for the exclusion of so-called “Blue Water” Navy veterans from the presumption of exposure to Agent Orange and other harmful toxins present in South Vietnam during the war. It is clear that the study performed by the University of Queensland regarding the desalination plants on board Australian ships at the time is directly applicable to American Navy personnel. Not only did the desalination plants on the American vessels work in exactly the same manner as those on Australian ships, they were manufactured and installed by the same company. The methodology for creating fresh water for both the boilers and for drinking, cooking, etc. actually had the perverse effect of concentrating dioxin in the “cleansed” water that was then ingested by the fliers and sailors on board.