The Army Directorate for Risk Assessment earlier published the famous TG312, the technical guide to assessment of worker contaminants exposure. TG312 has been cited by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry in their letter confirming the likely exposure of aircrews and maintenance personnel assigned to the C-123 to dioxin remaining from the aircraft's Vietnam War missions. Further, TG312 was cited by each of the university-based experts who weighed in to support the veterans' claims of having been exposed to the deadly herbicide. Such experts have further claimed that C-123 aircrews (1970 to 1980) were even more severely exposed than nearly all Vietnam War veterans!
|Davis-Monthan DAF Employees in Required C-123 HAZMAT Protection|
The VA, faced with the costs of providing medical care for the exposed veterans, quickly prepared their opinion denying veterans' exposure, and did so in the face of toxicology tests completed by the Air Force's Armstrong Labs in which the airplanes were tested as "heavily contaminated" and about which the USAF scientists testified were "a danger to public health." The VA even challenged the industry-standard method by which the Air Force tests were conducted, and concluded the aircraft were not contaminated "enough" to affect veterans' health. This position staggered professional toxicologists - was the VA suggesting a threshold of dioxin exposure, or describing a situation where workers could perform their duties in a dioxin-contaminated aircraft and somehow not be exposed?? Is VA unaware of decisions that NO LEVEL OF DIOXIN is considered "safe" - decisions reached by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) as well as the US Environmental Protection Agency?
Any such "ignorance" seems highly unlikely since these agencies' documents were cited by both the AF and the VA! Any attempt to now claim that the C-123 didn't have enough dioxin to potentially cause harm to aircrews is clearly an equivocation - an attempt to worm their way out of having to care for our veterans' Agent Orange-caused illnesses!
Why can't we get Senator Gillibrand to stand up for us as has Senator Burr?