VA May Expand Ailments Associated with Agent Orange Herbicide
The Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) 10th and final review of medical literature on health effects of herbicide exposure in Vietnam was issued March 2016. The report supports the connection between herbicide exposure and bladder cancer, hypothyroidism and Parkinson-like symptoms. Specifically, IOM found “limited or suggestive” evidence of an association to herbicide versus its previous finding of “inadequate or insufficient” evidence. In response to the report, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has said it will make a decision about possible expansion no later than November 1, 2017. Currently the VA has 14 “presumptive diseases” linked to herbicide exposure. Adding the three ailments would increase the number of Vietnam War veterans eligible for disability compensation and health care.