23 June 2012

New VA Update Denies C-123 Dioxin Exposure

In their most recent Internet posting, the VA jumps onboard with the Air Force in reasserting the claims they've made that flying contaminated airplanes did not result in our exposure to the dioxin inside those airplanes!

Folks, this is not new science or new research. Instead, both the VA and the AF have merely reviewed earlier documents which themselves confirmed the "heavily contaminated" dioxin-laden C-123 fleet. Caving to political and financial pressure, the report writers labored hard to wordsmith away veterans' ability to claim Agent Orange exposure. However, every university that has investigated the situation confirms our exposure to Agent Orange. The deputy director of the CDC's Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry also confirms our exposure, opining that we flew aircraft which were 200-times more toxic than safe standards!

1. I believe the Air Force is sensitive to the fact that they failed to protect aircrews, and failed inform veterans who'd flown the C-123 once the danger was known.
2. I believe the Air Force and State Department are sensitive to the fact that the AF sold dioxin-contaminated aircraft to Thailand and South Korea before the range was known.
3. I believe the AF is sensitive to the fact that several aircraft were sold as surplus, including some to Walt Disney films, which were contaminated with dioxin.
4. I believe the VA and USAF are sensitive to the potential cost of medical care for Agent Orange-exposed aircrew and maintenance veterans.
5. I believe the AF report is flawed in many ways, including its failure to properly assess exposure via dioxin-laden dust, failure to properly assess the level of contamination and crew exposure in the years before the first tests were conducted,  and is flawed in their obvious effort to downplay the possibility of veterans' exposure below the "as likely to as not" VA threshold. This report, not even signed by the researchers, tries to whitewash the damning description made by earlier AF scientists who themselves conducted the original dioxin test on the aircraft, and under oath described the C-123 "a danger to public health."

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Veterans Health Administration Update:
Doctor smiling at Veteran
Agent Orange residue on C-123 planes post-Vietnam
The U.S. Air Force’s recent risk assessment report (April 27, 2012) found that potential exposures to Agent Orange in C-123 airplanes used after the Vietnam War were unlikely to have put aircrew or passengers at risk for future health problems. Download the report for the full findings. (PDF)
VA’s Office of Public Health also concluded in its review of all related scientific information, including the Air Force report, that the risk of herbicide exposure was very low and therefore, the risk of health problems is minimal. We will review any new scientific information that becomes available.

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