Agent Orange, Diabetes Linked
The findings now go to the National Academy of Sciences for review. NAS will then report to the Department of Veterans Affairs, which will then decide whether to add diabetes to diseases linked to Agent Orange. Vets with these diseases, which include prostate cancer, are eligible for compensation.
The Air Force study found a 47 percent increase in diabetes among veterans with the highest levels of dioxin in their bloodstream. Dioxin is the compound in Agent Orange linked to health effects in laboratory animals.
The result is based on 1997 physical examinations of 1,000 Air Force veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange during the nine years that it was used as a defoliant and crop killer in Vietnam. U.S. planes sprayed 11 million gallons of Agent Orange in Vietnam between 1962 and 1971. Critics called the operation chemical warfare.
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