Agent Orange (Dioxin) was used from January 9, 1962 until May 7, 1975. In 1991 The United State Congress passed the Agent Orange Act. Section 2 of the Act contains one of the most important aspects of the legislation. It provides for a presumption of a service related connection between the diseases and the conditions identified in the Act and the spraying of Agent Orange. Between 1991 and February 2002 Vietnam veteran who served on land, inland waterways, or off the coast of Vietnam were not of dioxin stopped, several areas within Vietnam still show high levels of dioxin.p present any sort of documentation as evi\denrequired to present any sort of documentation as evidence for actually dioxin exposure. In February 2002 the Department of Veterans Affairs changed their rules set forth in 1991 so that you needed to have “Boots on the Ground” in Vietnam or any of it’s offshore islands In 2002 an Australian Study (EXAMINATION OF THE POTENTIAL EXPOSURE OF ROYAL AUSTRALIAN NAVY (RAN) PERSONNEL TO POLYCHLORINATED DIBENZODIOXINS AND POLYCHLORINATED DIBENZOFURANS VIA DRINKING WATER) found that the water distillation process would actually enhance the toxicity of any dioxin present in the original saltwater.
In August of 2001 Jonathan Haas, a veteran who served on the U.S.S. Katmai filed his claim for benefits based on the 1991 Agent Orange Act. His claim was denied and he appealed to the Veterans Court where the three-judge panel reversed the Veterans Board decision stating that the VA definition of service that required “foot on the ground” was too restrictive and was unreasonable. In May 2008 in a 2-1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit Courts reversed the Veterans Court and upheld the VA’s definition that “service in Vietnam” required “foot on the ground”. They admitted that they “ordinarily will not hear appeals from the Veterans Court in cases the Veterans Court remands to the Board of Veterans Appeals.
In 2012 and 2013, 40 years after the spraying of dioxin stopped, several areas within Vietnam still show high levels of dioxin.
Diseases Associated with Agent Orange
AL Amyloidosis A rare disease caused when an abnormal protein, amyloid, enters tissues or organs Chronic B-cell Leukemias A type of cancer which affects white blood cells Chloracne (or similar acneform disease) A skin condition that occurs soon after exposure to chemicals and looks like common forms of acne seen in teenagers. Under VA's rating regulations, it must be at least 10 percent disabling within one year of exposure to herbicides. Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 A disease characterized by high blood sugar levels resulting from the body’s inability to respond properly to the hormone insulin Hodgkin’s Disease A malignant lymphoma (cancer) characterized by progressive enlargement of the lymph nodes, liver, and spleen, and by progressive anemia Ischemic Heart Disease A disease characterized by a reduced supply of blood to the heart, that leads to chest pain Multiple Myeloma A cancer of plasma cells, a type of white blood cell in bone marrow Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma A group of cancers that affect the lymph glands and other lymphatic tissue Parkinson’s Disease A progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects muscle movement Peripheral Neuropathy, Early-Onset A nervous system condition that causes numbness, tingling, and motor weakness. Under VA's rating regulations, it must be at least 10 percent disabling within one year of herbicide exposure. Porphyria Cutanea Tarda A disorder characterized by liver dysfunction and by thinning and blistering of the skin in sun-exposed areas. Under VA's rating regulations, it must be at least 10 percent disabling within one year of exposure to herbicides. Prostate Cancer Cancer of the prostate; one of the most common cancers among men Respiratory Cancers (includes lung cancer) Cancers of the lung, larynx, trachea, and bronchus Soft Tissue Sarcomas (other than osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, or mesothelioma) A group of different types of cancers in body tissues such as muscle, fat, blood and lymph vessels, and connective tissues.
Nearly half of the surviving hundred thousand members of the United State Navy and Fleet Marine services who served in Vietnam between 1962 and 1975 may currently be suffering disabilities from the effects of dioxin, found in Agent Orange. These service members are now being denied all service connected health care from the VA and disability compensation for these diseases by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
There are two Bills in the 115 Session of Congress HR-299 in the House and S-422 in the Senate that will rectify this.