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C-123 aircraft spraying Agent Orange over Vietnam. (Photo: US Air Force)

New Study Confirms One of Agent Orange's Toxic Legacies

Aircraft used to dump pernicious mix on Vietnam continued its threat for years.

Andrea Germanos

A new study reveals that members of the Air Force Reserve were exposed to significant levels of Agent Orange long after planes were dumping the toxic cocktail on Vietnam.

The findings, published online Friday in the journal Environmental Research, stand in contrast to claims by the U.S. Air Force and the VA.

The researchers found that from 1971-1982, Air Force Reservists who flew C-123 aircraft which had been used to spray Agent Orange and continued to be used for other operations were exposed to levels of dioxin that exceeded U.S standards.

A statement on the VA's website reads:

VA’s Office of Public Health thoroughly reviewed all available scientific information regarding the exposure potential. We concluded that the potential of exposure for the post-Vietnam crews that flew or maintained these planes was extremely low and therefore, the risk of long-term health effects is minimal.

Yet these "aircraft occupants would have been exposed to airborne dioxin-contaminated dust as well as come into direct skin contact, and our models show that the level of exposure is likely to have exceeded several available exposure guidelines," stated senior author Jeanne Mager Stellman, PhD, Professor Emerita of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.

The findings could be a game-changer for this group veterans who have been sickened by Agent Orange exposure and have thus far been denied reparations.

"We can't prove it, but everything in here is supportive of the fact that they were exposed and could have been quite highly exposed," Linda Birnbaum, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, told The Huffington Post. "In fact, it would be reasonable to assume that those who flew in these planes after the war were more likely to be exposed than those servicemen who had boots on the ground in Vietnam."

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Global Windfall Profit Tax of 90% Needed to Address 'Catastrophic' Food, Climate Crises: Oxfam

Taxing the excess profits of large corporations within the G7 alone could raise an estimated $430 billion to fight world hunger, deliver vaccines to the entire world, and make a giant dent in the fight to drive down fossil fuel pollution and jumpstart the necessary renewable energy transition.

Jon Queally ·


NATO to Boost Ranks of High-Readiness Forces by 650% to Over 300,000

Anti-war campaigners responded that "this is not the path to peace and will not make the world safer."

Jake Johnson ·


Ilhan Omar Says Plan to Fix Supreme Court Must Include Impeachment Probes

"We need an impeachment investigation into Clarence Thomas' role in the January 6th coup, as well as into Gorsuch, Alito, Barrett, and Kavanaugh's testimony on Roe during their confirmation hearings," said the Minnesota Democrat.

Jake Johnson ·


Right-Wing Justices Should Be Impeached for Lying Under Oath, Says Ocasio-Cortez

"We have a responsibility to protect our democracy," said the New York Democrat. "That includes holding those in power who violate the law accountable."

Kenny Stancil ·


'Infuriating': Biden Rebuked for Continued Opposition to Supreme Court Expansion

"What does Biden 'agree' with doing?" Mehdi Hasan asked. "What does the leader of this country want to do to stop the increasingly fascistic assault on our democratic institutions and basic rights?"

Kenny Stancil ·

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