Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Operation Ranch Hand: Agent Orange Legacy

From Homeland Security News Wire:

C-123 returns home from Vietnam with Agent Orange contamination // Source: xuite.net

Aircraft used in Vietnam source of postwar Agent Orange contamination in U.S.

24 February 2014

From 1971 to 1982, Air Force reservists who flew in about thirty-four dioxin-contaminated aircraft used to spray Agent Orange and who returned to the United States following discontinuation of the herbicide spraying operations in the Vietnam War, were exposed greater levels of dioxin than previously acknowledged, according to a study published in Environmental Research.

“These findings are important because they describe a previously unrecognized source of exposure to dioxin that has health significance to those who engaged in the transport work using these aircraft,” says lead investigator Peter A. Lurker, Ph.D., PE, CIH, an environmental engineer with many years of experience evaluating environmental exposures in the Air Force.

An Elsevier release reports that during the Vietnam War, in an operation called Operation Ranch Hand, approximately twenty million gallons of herbicides, including around 10.5 million gallons of dioxin-contaminated Agent Orange, were sprayed by about thirty-four C-123 aircraft. These aircraft were subsequently returned to the United States and were used by Air Force reserve units between 1971 and 1982 for transport operations. After many years without monitoring, tests revealed the presence of dioxin (also known as TCDD). All but three of the aircraft were smelted down in 2009.

The Air Force and Department of Veterans Affairs have previously denied benefits to these crew members. Current policies stipulate that “non-biologically available dried residues” of chemical herbicides and dioxin would not have led to meaningful exposures to flight crew and maintenance personnel, who are therefore ineligible for Agent Orange-related benefits or medical examinations and treatment....

I personally know of Vietnam Vets who were exposed to Agent Orange, and have seen how the subsequent governments have dragged their heels in compensating these Vets.. Today, we are seeing the same kind of political bs regarding the known toxins that our GWOT Vets have been exposed to in the sandbox.

Read the rest of this one here, and PAY ATTENTION.

No comments: