|"Agent Orange" is the name given to a blend of herbicides the U.S. military sprayed from 1961 to 1970 to remove plants and leaves from foliage in Vietnam that provided enemy cover. The name "Agent Orange" came from the orange identifying stripe around the 55-gallon drums in which it was stored. The U.S. military sprayed other herbicide combinations in the so-called Rainbow herbicides program, identified by the color of their storage drums, including Agent White and Agent Blue. Agent Orange was the blend used most widely. |
Click here to go to the VA's Guide to Agent Orange Claim. Various resources there are quite valuable, and they give the telephone numbers to request a physical for Agent Orange exposure. For our members who were in Vietnam, they have a presumed exposure to AO. For our members who were not in Vietnam or at one of the identified AO sites, different rules:
Diseases associated with Agent Orange exposure
Veterans may be eligible for disability compensation and health care benefits for diseases that the Department of Veterans Affairs has recognized as associated with Agent Orange & other herbicides:
-- Acute and subacute peripheral neuropathy (time limits apply...one year post exposure)
A nervous system condition that causes numbness, tingling and motor weakness.
-- AL amyloidosis
A rare disease caused when an abnormal protein, amyloid, enters tissues or organs.
-- 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.
-- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (now being expanded to B cell leukemias)
A type of cancer that affects white blood cells. Currently, only chronic lymphocytic leukemia is a "presumptive" disease associated with Agent Orange exposure; but, on March 25, the VA published a proposed regulation to establish B cell leukemias (includes chronic lymphocytic leukemia, hairy cell leukemia and others) as associated with Agent Orange exposure.
-- 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. On March 25, the VA published a proposed regulation that will establish ischemic heart disease as associated with Agent Orange exposure. Eligible Vietnam veterans may receive disability compensation for this disease when the regulation is final.
-- Multiple myeloma
A disorder that causes an overproduction of certain proteins from white blood cells.
-- Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
A group of cancers that affect the lymph glands and other lymphatic tissue.
-- Parkinson's disease
A motor system condition with symptoms that include a trembling of the hands, imbalance and loss of facial expression. On March 25, the VA published a proposed regulation that will establish Parkinson's disease as associated with Agent Orange exposure.
-- Porphyria cutanea tarda
A disorder characterized by liver dysfunction and by thinning and blistering of the skin in sun-exposed areas.
-- Prostate cancer
Cancer of the prostate; one of the most common cancers among men.
-- Respiratory cancers
Cancers of the lung, larynx, trachea and bronchus.
-- Soft tissue sarcoma (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.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
05 April 2011
Agent Orange Background, including VA presumed connections