Agent Orange - Does it cause diseases to spouse?

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I have had nothing but health problems one after another, I am now 45 and I’m riddled with health issues. This has been going on for the past 18 years. My died was in Vietnam for 3 years as a combat medic, he died from a brain tumor at age 65 in 2004. I’m the youngest child of five. I was conceived about the time he was in Vietnam and agent orange was widely used often. He was in some bad times from all the stories he told me, I do believe that agent orange is the main reason why my health conditions are so bad. I need to speak with someone for some help with this and to see if in fact my father being in Vietnam during the time of agent orange and the time I was born. There is some very unusual quintessential diseases I have and I do have a lot. My life is ruined and I’m disabled and can’t do anything anymore from all my health issues. Can someone help me to find out or how to go about finding out if in fact I have been exposed to the agent orange that my father was in during his time in Vietnam. I ne
I'm so sorry for what you've been through, I wish I can help a bit. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- VA presumes that Veterans were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides if they served: In Vietnam anytime between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975, including brief visits ashore or service aboard a ship that operated on the inland waterways of Vietnam If you fall into either category listed above, you do not have to show that you were exposed to Agent Orange to be eligible for disability compensation for diseases VA presumes are associated with it. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recognizes birth defects in children of Vietnam veterans exposed to this toxin as qualifying for benefits. To be eligible, the child must: 1. be a biological child of a Vietnam or Korean War veteran; 2. have a birth defect that resulted in a permanent physical or mental disability; 3. have proof that their parent or parents served in Viet
My daughter also had medical issues her father served in Viet Nam she was born after he came home in 1973 would like to find out more info
What are the medical issues of your daughter? The Veterans Health Administration's Public Health website lists the diseases VA presumes are associated with exposure to Agent Orange or other herbicides during military service. Or you can see the potential diseases listed in this post by Tina Silcox.
Here are some information in the website of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs:
You may be able to get disability benefits if the below descriptions are true for you.
This must be true:
You have an illness we believe is caused by Agent Orange (called a presumptive disease)
And at least one of these must also be true. You:
1.Came into contact with Agent Orange while serving in the military, or
2.Served in or near the DMZ for any length of time between September 1, 1967, and August 31, 1971, or
3.Served in the Republic of Vietnam for any length of time between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975. This may include serving aboard a vessel on the inland waterways, or on a vessel operating not more than 12 nautical miles seaward from the demarcation line of the waters of Vietnam and Cambodia (as detailed in Public Law 116-23, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019).
Who's covered?
Qualified dependents
I too am a product of the Vietnam war I was born in 1966 My Father was a Navy Seal in Vietnam and Korean wars and I too am disabled , I don't know if this is a coincidence but something happened that's all I can say right now.
Surviving spouses, dependent children and dependent parents of Veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange and died as the result of diseases related to Agent Orange exposure may be eligible for a monthly payment called Dependency and Indemnity Compensation.

Survivors also may be eligible for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation if the Veteran died from other service- related injuries or diseases or was totally disabled from service-connected conditions for certain lengths of time at the time of death.

Find out more about eligibility for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation.
My exbusband was exposed to agent Orange and he died of copd. Our son was born with a murmur on his heart and now my grand son was born prematurely with one. I am sick and doctors want give me answers as to what is really wrong with me. I had to file for disabity and you wouldn't believe how they have been experimenting on me without informing me. I am very suspicious.

Cancers believed to be caused by contact with Agent Orange

  • Chronic B-cell Leukemia: A type of cancer that affects your white blood cells (cells in your body’s immune system that help to fight off illnesses and infections)
  • Hodgkin’s Disease: A type of cancer that causes your lymph nodes, liver, and spleen to get bigger and your red blood cells to decrease (called anemia)
  • Multiple Myeloma: A type of cancer that affects your plasma cells (white blood cells made in your bone marrow that help to fight infection)
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma: A group of cancers that affect the lymph glands and other lymphatic tissue (a part of your immune system that helps to fight infection and illness)
  • Prostate Cancer: Cancer of the prostate (the gland in men that helps to make semen)
  • Respiratory Cancers (including lung cancer): Cancers of the organs involved in breathing (including the lungs, larynx, trachea, and bronchus)
  • Soft Tissue Sarcomas (other than osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, or mesothelioma): Different types of cancers in body tissues such as muscle, fat, blood and lymph vessels, and connective tissues

Other illnesses believed to be caused by contact with Agent Orange

  • AL Amyloidosis: A rare illness that happens when an abnormal protein (called amyloid) builds up in your body’s tissues, nerves, or organs (like your heart, kidneys, or liver) and causes damage over time
  • Chloracne (or other types of acneform disease like it): A skin condition that happens soon after contact with chemicals and looks like acne often seen in teenagers. Under our rating regulations, it must be at least 10% disabling within 1 year of contact with herbicides.
  • Diabetes Mellitus Type 2: An illness that happens when your body is unable to properly use insulin (a hormone that turns blood glucose, or sugar, into energy), leading to high blood sugar levels
  • Ischemic Heart Disease: A type of heart disease that happens when your heart doesn’t get enough blood (and the oxygen the blood carries). It often causes chest pain or discomfort.
  • Parkinson’s Disease: An illness of the nervous system (the network of nerves and fibers that send messages between your brain and spinal cord and other areas of your body) that affects your muscles and movement—and gets worse over time
  • Peripheral Neuropathy, Early Onset: An illness of the nervous system that causes numbness, tingling, and weakness. Under our rating regulations, it must be at least 10% disabling within 1 year of contact with herbicides.
  • Porphyria Cutanea Tarda: A rare illness that can make your liver stop working the way it should and can cause your skin to thin and blister when you’re out in the sun. Under VA’s rating regulations, it must be at least 10% disabling within 1 year of contact with herbicides.

If you have an illness you think is caused by contact with Agent Orange—and you don’t see it listed here—you can still file a claim for disability compensation. You’ll need to show that you have a disability and include a doctor’s report or a hospital report stating that your illness is believed to be caused by contact with Agent Orange.

Find out how to file a claim for disability compensation.

During the Vietnam War (1961–75; a civil war between the communist North and the democracy-seeking South), North Vietnamese guerrillas found cover in the lush jungles of South Vietnam. To deprive their opponents of hiding places and food crops, the U.S. military instituted a program called Operation Ranch Hand, which involved the aerial spraying of herbicides. Ground spraying from boats, trucks, and backpacks occurred as well. In all, U.S. troops sprayed approximately 19 million gallons (72 million liters) of Agent Orange and other herbicides over 4 million acres (1.6 million hectares). This military strategy is thought to have saved the lives of many U.S. combat soldiers who had been sent to fight on behalf of the South Vietnamese.

Concerns about the health effects of exposure to Agent Orange were initially voiced in 1970, following a study that reported the incidence of birth defects in laboratory mice given high doses of the herbicide 2,4,5-T. TCDD, a dioxin contaminant of 2,4,5-T, was isolated as the actual cause of the birth defects. A commission established in 1970 to study the effects of herbicides on the ecology and population of South Vietnam reported that herbicides had not only destroyed vegetation and food, but 2,4,5-T and its associated dioxin contaminant might possibly have caused birth defects among South Vietnamese people who were exposed to it.

On April 15, 1970, all use of 2,4,5-T in the United States was suspended, except for the killing of weeds and brush on non-crop land. On May 9, 1970, Operation Ranch Hand flew its last mission in Vietnam, and U.S. forces stopped ground spraying in 1971. The herbicide was banned completely in 1985 by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Toxicity of TCDD. TCDD is a by-product of the manufacture of trichlorophenol, a chemical used to produce 2,4,5-T. Workers involved in accidents or spills at factories where the herbicide 2,4,5-T is manufactured have developed a condition called chloracne, a rash of skin lesions on the face, neck, and back. After researchers developed a method to produce trichlorophenol with a reduced level of TCDD as a by-product, the number of chloracne cases among factory workers in the herbicide industry decreased substantially.

The toxicity of the dioxin contaminant TCDD is the subject of continuing controversy and study. While some animals are very sensitive to TCDD, others are more tolerant to it. A very small amount can kill 50 percent of guinea pigs exposed to it, but a dose thousands of times larger is needed to cause the same number of deaths in hamsters.

Investigation of health effects

Serious health symptoms reported in 1977 by veterans of the Vietnam War spurred both the White House and the Veterans Administration (VA) to institute studies to evaluate the possible long-term health effects of herbicides and contaminants.

Exposure to TCDD in humans is measured by the amount of the contaminant found in blood and fatty tissue, where it tends to accumulate. Studies determined that levels of TCDD in the blood of chemical plant workers were strongly related to length of time of exposure.

Inadequate records of herbicide spraying and troop movements have made it difficult to determine to what degree individuals were exposed to herbicides and TCDD in Vietnam. Ranch Hand personnel who were heavily exposed to Agent Orange had significantly higher TCDD levels than other veterans. The average TCDD concentrations of Vietnam veterans who might have been exposed to Agent Orange on the ground did not differ significantly from that of other veterans and civilians.

The Agent Orange Act of 1991, passed by the U.S. Congress, ordered the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to review and evaluate information regarding the health effects of exposure to Agent Orange and its components. Lacking enough information about the levels of herbicide exposure among Vietnam veterans to make any conclusions

regarding health effects, the NAS instead reviewed existing studies of people known to have been exposed to herbicides. In 1993, the 16-member panel of experts classified possible health effects in four categories, depending on the degree to which they could be associated with TCDD exposure.

In a 1996 update, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) reported new evidence upholding the 1993 finding of sufficient evidence of an association between TCDD exposure and various disorders with symptoms including tumors and skin lesions, including soft-tissue sarcoma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease, and chloracne. Porphyria cutanea tarda (a rare skin disease) was downgraded from sufficient to "limited/suggestive evidence of an association," a category that also includes prostate cancer, multiple myeloma (cancer of bone marrow cells), and respiratory cancers (cancers of the lung, larynx, or trachea).

The IOM also reported there was new "limited/suggestive evidence" to show an association between TCDD exposure and the congenital birth defect spina bifida (incomplete closure of the spinal column at birth) in Vietnam veterans' children. A neurological disorder suffered by veterans was also placed in this category. The remaining two categories include cancers or disorders that have insufficient or no evidence of an association with TCDD exposure.

TCDD Hazard Summary

Hazard Summary 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (2,3,7,8-TCDD) is formed as an unintentional by-product of incomplete combustion.  It may be released to the environment during the combustion of fossil fuels and wood, and during the incineration of municipal and industrial wastes.  It causes chloracne in humans, a severe acne-like condition.  It is known to be a developmental toxicant in animals, causing skeletal deformities, kidney defects, and weakened immune responses in the offspring of animals exposed to 2,3,7,8-TCDD during pregnancy.  Human studies have shown an association between 2,3,7,8-TCDD and soft-tissue sarcomas, lymphomas, and stomach carcinomas.  EPA has classified 2,3,7,8- TCDD as a probable human carcinogen (Group B2).

Assessing Personal Exposure

Body fat, blood, and breast milk may be analyzed for 2,3,7,8-TCDD.

Health Hazard Information

Acute Effects:

The major acute (short-term) effect from exposure of humans to high levels of 2,3,7,8-TCDD in air is chloracne, a severe acne-like condition that can develop within months of first exposure. Acute animal tests in dogs, monkeys, and guinea pigs have shown 2,3,7,8-TCDD to have extreme toxicity from oral exposure.

Chronic Effects  (Noncancer):

Chronic Effects  (Noncancer): Chloracne is also the major effect seen from chronic (long-term) exposure to 2,3,7,8-TCDD in humans. (1) Animal studies have reported hair loss, loss of body weight, and a weakened immune system from oral exposure to 2,3,7,8-TCDD. (1) EPA has not established a Reference Concentration (RfC) or a Reference Dose (RfD) for 2,3,7,8-TCDD. ATSDR has calculated a chronic oral minimal risk level (MRL) of 1 x 10-9 milligrams per kilogram body weight per day (mg/kg/d) based on neurological effects in monkeys. The MRL is an estimate of daily exposure to a dose of a chemical that is likely to be without appreciable risk of adverse noncancerous effects over a specified duration of exposure. Exposure to a level above the MRL does not mean that adverse effects will occur. The MRL is used by public health professionals as a screening tool.

Reproductive/Developmental Effects:

The results of available reproductive and developmental studies in humans are inconclusive. (1) Animal studies have reported developmental effects, such as skeletal deformities, kidney defects, and weakened immune responses in the offspring of animals exposed to 2,3,7,8-TCDD during pregnancy. (1) Reproductive effects, including altered levels of sex hormones, reduced production of sperm, and increased rates of miscarriages, have been seen in animals exposed to 2,3,7,8-TCDD.

Cancer Risk:

Human studies, primarily of workers occupationally exposed to 2,3,7,8-TCDD by inhalation, have found an association between 2,3,7,8-TCDD and lung cancer, soft-tissue sarcomas, lymphomas, and stomach carcinomas, although for malignant lymphomas, the increase in risk is not consistent. (1) No information is available on the carcinogenic effects of 2,3,7,8-TCDD in animals following inhalation exposure. (1) Animal studies have reported tumors of the liver, lung, tongue, thyroid, and nasal turbinates from oral exposure to 2,3,7,8-TCDD. (1) EPA has classified 2,3,7,8-TCDD as a Group B2; probable human carcinogen. (2,3) EPA has calculated an inhalation cancer slope factor of 1.5x10 5  (mg/kg/d) -1  and an inhalation unit risk estimate of 3.3 x 10 -5  (pg/m 3 ) -1  for 2,3,7,8-TCDD. (2,3) EPA has calculated an oral cancer slope factor of 1.5 x 10 5  (mg/kg/d) -1  and an oral unit risk factor of 4.5 (µg/L) -1  for 2,3,7,8-TCDD. (2,3)


My uncle Joseph Stetler served in Vietnam and died of lymphoma. I've witnessed how much he suffered and I wish I could offer help, any help, to whom needs it. God bless you.