It is difficult to say how many Vietnam veterans have been affected by Agent Orange. However, any veteran who served in Vietnam between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975 is presumed by the VA to have been exposed to Agent Orange. There are other locations in which veterans were likely exposed to Agent Orange, including the Korean Demilitarized Zone and Thailand.
Why the Military Used Agent Orange in Vietnam
Why would the U.S. military use a chemical as toxic and deadly as Agent Orange? For one thing, the health risks of Agent Orange exposure were unknown at the time. Only years later, when veterans exposed to Agent Orange started getting sick and dying, did doctors and researchers begin to draw a link back to the chemical.
Additionally, Agent Orange is an extremely powerful herbicide. The military used Agent Orange to clear foliage during the Vietnam War, depriving enemy fighters of cover. However, the military was unaware at the time of how many veterans would be adversely affected by the chemical in years to come.
Illnesses Caused by Exposure to Agent Orange
Agent Orange has been linked to a long list of medical conditions, many of which are severe and can be life-threatening. VA recognizes certain medical conditions as being associated with Agent Orange exposure and thus provides presumptive service connection for these conditions to veterans with qualifying service. These conditions are:
- AL Amyloidosis
- Chronic B-cell Leukemias
- Diabetes Mellitus Type 2
- Hodgkin’s Disease
- Ischemic Heart Disease
- Multiple Myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Peripheral Neuropathy, Early-Onset
- Porphyria Cutanea Tarda
- Prostate Cancer
- Respiratory Cancers (cancers of the lung, larynx, trachea, and bronchus)
- Soft Tissue Sarcomas
That being said, you can also receive service connection for a condition not on the above list by supplying medical evidence that your condition was at least as likely as not caused by your exposure to herbicides. A VA disability lawyer can help you with this process.
For a Free VA Disability Case Evaluation, Call 800-544-9144 Today
The veterans lawyers at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD may be able to help you receive benefits for medical conditions you have suffered as a result of Agent Orange exposure in Vietnam or elsewhere. Our staff offers a free case evaluation. Call us today at 800-544-9144.« Return to the Veterans' Resource Center
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