I recently had to do some research on the effect of Agent Orange on a child of a veteran who served in Vietnam back in the 60’s. I was absolutely astounded at the list of health problems being attributed to Agent Orange. While I am horrified at how many veterans were exposed to these chemicals when the manufacturers knew how dangerous they were, I am beginning to see how horrific the problem is becoming both health-wise for veterans and financially for the government. If the VA has to pay for all the health issues being attributed to Agent Orange, I don’t know how they could possibly afford it. On the other hand, knowing that the chemicals were so dangerous and still using them leads me to believe that the manufacturing companies should be held accountable for covering a good portion of that cost.
Most recently, diabetes has been added to the list of presumptive diseases. It will cost the VA millions of dollars in benefits to provide health care for those they are identifying as being affected by Agent Orange. The list is as follows:
Clear Cell Sarcoma of Tendons and Aponeuroses
Epithelioid Malignant Leiomyosarcoma
Epithelioid and Grandular Malignant Schwannomas
Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD)
Malignant Glandular Schwannoma
I won’t go into the definition for each of these diagnoses, but if you served in Vietnam and any of them are part of your diagnoses, it would certainly be wise to get to the VA Medical Center and register for benefits! I believe as we go along, we’re going to find more and more health problems of our veterans are related to chemical exposure.