Agent Orange: Health Issues & Benefits for Exposed Veterans
Agent Orange is a chemical herbicide used most notably in the Vietnam War under Operation: Ranch Hand. The herbicide is just one of nine herbicides used and has been nicknamed the “Rainbow Herbicides.” The primary use before the war was to control weed undergrowth in forests.
These herbicides were harmful to any humans that came into contact with them. This can include anyone stationed in Vietnam during the Vietnam War, any Vietnamese residents during the Vietnam War, or anyone who may have come into contact through other means.
What Is Agent Orange?
Agent Orange is a mixture of two herbicides, 2,4,5-T and 2,4-D; which also contain traces of dioxin. The most notable dioxin, Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (“TCDD”), is known to be the primary cause of health problems in Agent Orange.
Agent Orange effects can cause various forms of cancer, birth defects, cleft palate, mental disabilities, and more. This has been linked directly to the exposure of both Vietnamese residents and veterans to these herbicides.
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Complications From Exposure to Agent Orange
There are numerous health issues caused by exposure to herbicides. Agent Orange particularly has been linked to several serious, long-term health issues, including:
- Various cancers
- Skin conditions
- Hodgkin’s Disease
- Heart Disease
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Soft Tissue Sarcomas
- Liver dysfunction
- Various nervous system conditions
- Type II Diabetes
- Lou Gehrig’s Disease
- Birth defects
The list of associated health risks for veterans exposed to Agent Orange has been expanded over the years. However, if you have any of these health concerns and have been exposed to Agent Orange, you may be eligible for compensation.
Eligibility Requirements Under Veterans Affairs (VA)
Members of the armed forces who were exposed to Agent Orange or any of the Rainbow Herbicides and have experienced health defects can look to the Department of Veteran Affairs.
The VA has two primary requirements to determine eligibility for an Agent Orange lawsuit. The primary requirements are:
- Having a qualified illness caused by Agent Orange
- Having served in a listed area where Agent Orange was present
The second prong of eligibility can be proven through some of the following requirements:
- From January 9, 1962, to May 7, 1975, the patient was stationed within the Republic of Vietnam aboard a US military vessel which was stationed within the waterways of Vietnam, on a vessel stationed near the demarcation line of Vietnam and Cambodia, or
- Served in at least one of the locations added by the PACT ACT during specified times
One of the following must be true:
- You were involved in handling Agent Orange in any way during your deployments.
- You were assigned to a certain flight, medical crew, or ground duties at a location as listed on the VA website.
- You served around the Korean DMZ between September 1, 1967, and August 31, 1971.
- You were stationed in an Air Force unit location where a C-123 with traces of Agent Orange was assigned, and you came into contact with the aircraft due to your assignment.
What Is the PACT Act?
The Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act of 2022, or the Honoring Our PACT Act of 2022, is the short title of Public Law 117-168, signed into law by President Joe Biden.
The primary purpose of the PACT Act is to expand compensation for veterans with certain toxic exposures. The act adds events like the cleanup of Enewetak Atoll, Camp Lejeune, and other incidents of toxic exposure.
The act also expands the list of presumed health hazards in the form of various cancers, defects, and more. These all depend on what chemicals the individual may have been exposed to and when they began to realize the symptoms.
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Contact Van Law Firm to See If You Qualify Today
Should your situation require representation, we are ready to fight for your Agent Orange compensation. If you need assistance with your VA claim or are looking to file a lawsuit, then Van Law Firm can assist you.
All of our initial consultations are free, so don’t wait! Contact us today to see if you qualify. Let our expert attorneys fight to get you the highest possible settlement and justice for your case.
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