Autumn leaves? More likely the product of a well-known defoliant. 161 Battery’s tent lines among the trees.
Photo courtesy Captain Mike Dakin
For years the government denied our troops had been exposed to Agent Orange, despite an abundance of evidence.
Take a look at early photos of the base at Nui Dat and then later photos…there is no living foliage. My Father in Law was drenched to his socks in the field with Agent Orange, they lived, slept, ate, drank and fought in the residue of this poison and still the government denied its existence.
New evidence suggests exposure is wider than previously thought.
A¬†new study¬†published in the journal¬†Environmental Research¬†reveals that Air Force reservists were exposed to higher levels of the toxic chemical than previously known (or admitted). Many of the same aircraft that dispersed Agent Orange during the war were later used as transport vehicles during (relative) peacetime, primarily between the years 1971 and 1982. And tests taken many years after those transports show the planes still contained dangerous levels of the chemical. Initial testing of the planes after the war and before peacetime service was nonexistent.
The US Air Force and Department of Veterans Affairs have previously denied benefits to those exposed to the chemical from these planes, claiming it wasn‚Äôt a harmful level of exposure. Researchers have now proven this to be false. The study used the US Army’s own algorithms and¬†samples taken from the aircraft to estimate how much the post-war level of exposure would have affected the body, with the results demonstrating that the levels in those aircraft were unacceptable under USAF and VA policies.
“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,” said lead investigator Peter A. Lurker. ‚ÄúOur models show that the level of exposure is likely to have exceeded several available exposure guidelines,‚ÄĚ Jeanne Stellman, an Agent Orange expert at Columbia University, added. Veterans are automatically eligible for health benefits and disability if they were exposed to dangerous amounts of Agent Orange under the¬†Agent Orange Act of 1991.¬† Read more »