Last week the Institute of Medicine released a new report on Agent Orange. We wrote a story about it and we have two points we want to highlight for you. We also have a small request.“Significant gaps in our knowledge”
First, the committee concluded that even after 40 years since the end of the Vietnam War, there’s still not enough Agent Orange research underway, especially related to potential health consequences for the children and grandchildren of vets who were exposed. "Although progress has been made in understanding the health effects of exposure to the chemicals,” the committee members wrote in the report, there are still “significant gaps in our knowledge.” We wrote a story about this. Check it out:http://propub.li/1Mnt5vmNew illnesses associated with Agent Orange
Second, the report moved three illnesses from “inadequate or insufficient evidence” of Agent Orange association to “limited or suggestive evidence” of Agent Orange association. Those illnesses are:
- Cancer of the urinary bladder
- Parkinson’s-like neurological disorders (only Parkinson’s disease is covered now)
- Hypothroidism (under-active thyroid)
The IOM has previously found a similar level of evidence for an association between Agent Orange and hypertension and stroke.
These illnesses are not currently covered by VA and the department will have to decide whether to adopt them. The VA also doesn’t compensate vets with hypertension or who have had a stroke, despite previous IOM reports linking those conditions to Agent Orange. The VA is not bound by the committee’s recommendations. The researchers listed more than 30 past suggestions — including calls for additional government-led studies — that apparently haven’t been pursued by the VA or other agencies. These illnesses lead to our request...Do you have any of these illnesses? Please get in touch.
You might be able to help us out with our next story. We want to know if you have any of the above illnesses (hypertension, stroke, bladder cancer, Parkinson’s-like neurological disorders, hypothroidism). And, if so, have you tried to get AO benefits from the VA? Were you denied? Tell us about it by replying to this email. We’re looking into this issue.
And, as always, thank you for filling out the survey. If possible, please share the survey with any vets, their family members or their children who you think haven’t filled it out yet. All you have to do is send them this link and ask them if it is something they could do: http://propub.li/1QYtRnM
. If you’ve already done this or you don’t know anyone, that’s OK. Thanks again.
Terry Parris Jr.