Panel To Study Agent Orange Residue Exposure

By Jim McCoy Wed 14th May NewsAgent OrangeVeteran's Affairs
The Veterans Affairs Department has long resisted disability claims from service members who said chemical residue left in Vietnam War-era planes that were used to spray defoliants over Southeast Asia caused them severe illnesses, including cancer. This summer, a panel of independent scientists will try to determine whether those veterans could have been exposed to the toxins in defoliants, including Agent Orange, at a level that would be dangerous to their health. The panel hosts the first of a series of closed meetings and public hearings on May 15. If it finds a link, the service members could be eligible for tax-free disability compensation up to several thousand dollars a month. That's something Wes Carter, a retired Air Force major who is leading the crusade, believes is long overdue.

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