Exposure to Dioxin from Contact with Aircraft
A recent study published in the journal Environmental Research indicates that military personnel who flew in dioxin-contaminated aircraft used to spray Agent Orange in the Vietnam War (Operation Ranch Hand) may have been exposed to greater levels of dioxin than has previously been recognized.
The recent study indicates that the potential for exposure to personnel working in these aircraft after they were used for Operation Ranch Hand may be much greater than VA has acknowledged. This also has implications for personnel who did not “set foot” in Vietnam, but who flew the planes used to spray Agent Orange and who were involved in cleaning and maintenance of the aircraft.
Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C) and Senator Jeff Berkely (D-Ore.) have asked VA to review whether benefits are inappropriately being denied to veterans who may have been exposed to Agent Orange contaminated aircraft.
Demonstrating contamination is further complicated by the fact that almost all of the aircraft, although showing contamination in the 1990s, have since been destroyed.
If you were exposed to aircraft used in spraying Agent Orange, you should be sure to reference this study when filing a claim for Agent Orange related conditions or disputing the denial of such claims.