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1st Lieutenant
MIA 10/07/1951
Heartbreak Ridge

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We Remember

What Did We Spray

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ALBERT GLASGOW wrote on March 8, 2015

Bryson City North Carolina


I served with 1/17 Arty I Corps at Camp McIntyre, Korea
form Feb. 1968 through March, 1969. I drove a supply truck
from Camp McIntyre to RC-4 and to the supply depot at
Musanni for 13 months on regular supply runs.


H CARNETT wrote on May 28, 2013

Costa Mesa Ca


My husband and father-in-law both developed Parkinson's. They served in the
military: Korea and Hawaii. Both were exposed to pesticides during that time.
Has anyone else developed PD after serving in Korea or Hawaii? Thank you.


ROBERT EVANS wrote on January 13, 2009


Stationed at Camp Mercer near Kimpo AFB in 69-70. I served on details and along where we used hand pumps to spray A\O for vegetation and rodent control inside our compound. 40th Engr Topo and 547th Engr compound. I also have a series of problems such as diabetes type ll, hypertension, possible prostate problems`Lord knows what's next! Fighting VA. Anyone else had this wonderful experience? We were kept in the dark, how were we to know some 30 to 40 years later this would be a death sentence for us.


TED BARKER wrote on January 1, 2009


Two news links:

1.) http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2000/11/03/national/main246885.shtml

Agent Orange used in S. Korea Pentagon reveals spraying in 1960s
The San Diego Union - Tribune; San Diego, Calif.; Nov 17, 1999; Clark Brooks;

A Pentagon spokesman said yesterday that the military used Agent Orange and two other toxic defoliants in South Korea during the late 1960s, but he didn't know how many U.S. and Korean troops were exposed to the chemicals.

[Craig] Quigley said the South Korean media recently reported the Agent Orange spraying. He said he was not aware of South or North Koreans seeking reparations.

The 1969 report recommended additional herbicide spraying in Korea, using U.S. troops to help the South Koreans. That same year, South Vietnamese newspapers reported increased birth defects from areas sprayed with Agent Orange and a study in the United States found that dioxin caused birth defects in mice and rats. In 1970, the U.S. military stopped spraying Agent Orange.

A Pentagon spokesman said yesterday that the military used Agent Orange and two other toxic defoliants in South Korea during the late 1960s, but he didn't know how many U.S. and Korean troops were exposed to the chemicals.

Rear Adm. Craig Quigley said that in 1968 and 1969, with full approval of their government, South Korean soldiers sprayed about 21,000 gallons of herbicides along the southern edge of the demilitarized zone.

The area sprayed was about 100 yards wide and 155 miles long, Quigley said by telephone from Washington, D.C.

American officers and enlisted personnel supervised the spraying, which was done in heavy concentrations from the ground, according to a declassified 1969 U.S. Army report obtained by the Union-Tribune. The U.S. military also conducted test spraying in 1967, before South Korea became involved, the report said.

Eventually, thousands of South Korean soldiers participated in the spraying. During one 44-day period, 3,345 South Korean troops applied defoliants over 1,658 acres, the report said.

Quigley said the South Korean media recently reported the Agent Orange spraying. He said he was not aware of South or North Koreans seeking reparations.

Agent Orange contained dioxin, now known to cause some cancers. It was used extensively during the Vietnam War to thin out the jungles to reduce the risk of ambush.

Agent Orange had a similar use in Korea, during a tense period when North Koreans were moving in and out of the demilitarized zone, Quigley said.

The 1969 report recommended additional herbicide spraying in Korea, using U.S. troops to help the South Koreans. That same year, South Vietnamese newspapers reported increased birth defects from areas sprayed with Agent Orange and a study in the United States found that dioxin caused birth defects in mice and rats. In 1970, the U.S. military stopped spraying Agent Orange.

'In the knowledge of 1999, we know that it's toxic,' Quigley said. 'But at the time, this is not something that we knew.'

The U.S. Air Force still insists Agent Orange didn't cause health problems for the 1,200 airmen who were involved in spraying 18 million gallons of defoliants over 3.6 million acres of South Vietnam. That conclusion is based on a study by Air Force scientists that began in 1978 and will end in 2006.

Last year, a Union-Tribune investigation found the $200 million study to be flawed by government interference, altered reports and the withholding of critical information about cancer and birth defects.

Using the Air Force study as its yardstick for Agent Orange damage, the government denied all but a handful of compensation claims until 1991, when U.S. Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., and Rep. Lane Evans, D-Ill., co-authored legislation that provided compensation for two cancers and authorized the National Academy of Sciences to study the health effects of dioxin.

Now the Department of Veterans Affairs compensates Vietnam veterans for 10 conditions the National Academy of Sciences has connected to Agent Orange exposure so far, including one birth defect, spina bifida.

While most of the Agent Orange used in Vietnam was sprayed from airplanes, defoliants in South Korea were distributed by hand 'to preclude the possibility of unfavorable propaganda and to ensure that defoliants would be properly employed with a margin of safety,' the report said.

However, spraying equipment was limited or ineffective, and 'the expedient methods of Orange application' was 'literally pouring' it onto foliage, the report said.

In areas where spraying was done, 'units were advised to spray Orange in a fine mist and to direct the spray high into the air allowing the mist to settle on foliage. Although this procedure increased the risk of undesired spray drift, the effectiveness of Orange was increased.'

Because of the drift, the herbicide affected trees 200 meters downwind of the application area, the report said.



TED BARKER wrote on January 1, 2009


Chemical Properties and names of those toxins:


TED BARKER wrote on January 1, 2009


U.S. to begin testing some Korea vets for Agent Orange exposure

The Associated Press
11/3/00 8:44 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The government is offering to examine Cold War American
troops who served in Korea three decades ago for possible exposure to the
defoliant Agent Orange.

In a little-publicized initiative, the Veterans Affairs Department expanded
a program previously offered to Vietnam War veterans to include people who
served in Korea in 1968-69.

The rule change follows by a year the Pentagon's disclosure that South
Korean troops sprayed Agent Orange, which contained the toxic herbicide
dioxin, during that time along the demilitarized zone between North and
South Korea.

The decision to give vets free Agent Orange Registry exams, for diseases and
medical conditions associated with exposure to the herbicide, is set out in
a directive issued Sept. 5 and posted on the department's http://www.va.gov
World Wide Web site.

Agent Orange and other similar herbicides were used during the Vietnam War
to eliminate forest cover by defoliating broad sections of jungle mainly to
facilitate pursuit of infiltrators and supplies moving into South Vietnam
from the north. After it appeared probable that the defoliant caused
numerous serious illnesses and birth defects, the VA set up the Agent Orange
Registry in 1978, three years after the war ended, for U.S. veterans with
in-country Vietnam War military service. More than 300,000 veterans have
participated so far.

'Now that we understand that it was sprayed there,' said VA spokesman Jim
Benson, 'we can say, `If you were in Korea, you may be exposed, and we would
like you to come in.''

The Defense Department has always known it was used along the Korean DMZ,
but it wasn't until last December that the information was publicly known.

Following news reports quoting unclassified U.S. documents about the usage,
the Pentagon and South Korea's government admitted that the chemical and two
others were used in 1968-69 to kill dense foliage that North Korean
infiltrators used for cover heading south.

Around 50,000 South Korean soldiers did the spraying by hand.

'However, it is plausible that U.S. service members in the area near
spraying operations may have been exposed,' the directive said, adding that
as many as 80,000 troops served in the country during the two years. A
smaller number would have been near the DMZ.

The new directive does not entitle veterans to compensation for diseases,
offering mainly physical examinations and counseling. Specifically, it opens
to Korean veterans registration on the registry's computerized index of all
examinations taken by Vietnam vets who worried they had illnesses caused by
exposure to the chemical.

Like Vietnam vets in the registry, the Korea-based veterans will be tracked
in Agent Orange research and get newsletters and other information that
Vietnam vets get, Benson said.

A law passed a decade ago assumes exposure for any American who served in
Vietnam during a certain period. The VA has compensated veterans who have
some forms of cancer and a limited number of other diseases presumed,
although not proven, to have been caused by the exposure.

After Korean vets register and are examined, the government would have to
take further action to add their names to the list of people eligible for
compensation, Benson said.

Under the law governing Agent Orange, Vietnam veterans need not prove a
direct causal relationship to receive service-based compensation for certain
diseases. The diseases currently on the list include Hodgkin's disease,
multiple myeloma, respiratory cancers, soft-tissue sarcoma and prostate
cancer. Veterans' children with spina bifida, a congenital birth defect of
the spine, are also eligible for benefits and health care


TED BARKER wrote on January 1, 2009


Agent Orange in Panama:



TED BARKER wrote on January 1, 2009


Agent Orange (Herbicides) Used Outside of Vietnam



The report is exhaustive.


TED BARKER wrote on January 1, 2009


Attached you will find an article about the use of AO in Korea 68-69.
I am a widow of a Korean Vet who died of lung cancer at the age of 33 after
being exposed to AO on the DMZ. 45,000 soldiers have been exposed.
Just wanted to pass on the information to anyone who might be ill, sick, or
relative of the one who has passed. Please pass this on to anyone who might
benefit. Vets out there do not even know they have been exposed.
Need any information let me know. I have it all.

Kathe Gaarde
Widow of Korean Vet


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Agent Orange

U.S. military records state that Agent Orange, Agent Blue and Monuron were
sprayed in the area of Korean
DMZ between 1968-69 as part of a broader effort to increase visibility to
reduce the number of North Korean
infiltration or raiding parties. In early 1967, as part of a general review
of the DMZ defenses, the United
Nations Command found that vegetation within the DMZ provided cover for
North Korean infiltrators, posing
a serious defensive problem. Approximately 21,000 gallons of Agent Orange
was used during this time. Other
methods of removing vegetation included mechanical means such as mowing,
plowing, using chains saws and

Records indicate that the United States and Republic of Korea governments
reviewed the plan to control
vegetation and approved the use of herbicides along the DMZ. The Republic
of Korea Prime Minister on
September 20, 1967 granted permission for herbicide use in Korea. Republic
of Korea forces were primarily
responsible for operations in the DMZ. In this case, the U.S. provided the
technical assistance to execute the
operation. The primary conclusion then was that the use of chemical control
of vegetation along the DMZ, in
conjunction with manual and mechanical means, was practical, manageable,
and politically acceptable. Agent
Orange was used in the DMZ for approximately two years and discontinued for
funding reasons.

Overall use of Agent Orange was discontinued in April, 1970 based upon a
scientific study that revealed that
one of the two active ingredients -- 2,4,5-T contained toxic elements. At
that time Agent Orange was only
being used in Vietnam where commanders were notified and the effects were
publicly known. Investigations
of allegations that the military uses of Agent Orange could have severe
deleterious human health effects
prompted the U.S. Department of Agriculture to suspend uses of 2,4,5-T in
bodies of water, on food crops, and
around the home in April and May 1970. EPA assumed responsibility for
pesticide regulation in December

As far as the liability is concerned, the United States has taken the
position there has been no conclusive
evidence of the correlation or connection or nexus between Agent Orange and
some of the disabilities that
have been suffered by a number of individuals, but that
our Veterans Administration does in fact provide medical care for those who
have disabilities associated with
that, in terms of their claims. In terms of any liability beyond that, the
United States, as far as the Department
of Defense is concerned, does not recognize any legal liability.
Related information may be found at


TED BARKER wrote on January 1, 2009


Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange Feel Agony, Frustration;
U.S. soldiers served in Korea also struggle to get recognized
as defoliant victims

None of the doctors that Chung Sam-nam consulted over the past 20 years
could explain what caused the serious liver and skin diseases that were
destroying his life.

Nor could they explain what caused the lung disease that the 55-year-old
Army veteran, who served in the Demilitarized Zone north of Inje in 1969-70,
suffered from. And the cause of the Kwangju resident's child's unidentifiable
skin disease likewise remained a mystery.

But in mid-November, when the Defense Ministry admitted that Agent
Orange and two other toxic defoliants, supplied by the U.S. forces, were
sprayed along the DMZ in 1968 and 1969, Chung thought he realized what
caused all the diseases.

'It is almost 30 years that I last served in the 12th Infantry Division, and my
fellow soldiers and I were often mobilized to clear the area of bushes and
trees to improve observation,' Chung recalled in an interview with The Korea
Herald yesterday.

While he said he doesn't recall if he himself was involved in the spraying of
defoliants, he said he remembers seeing his fellow soldiers spreading
chemicals by hand or with spraying devices.

'We thought it was a simple herbicide. And soon after I was discharged, I
forgot all about it,' Chung said.

But he said he could not get a decent job due to the illnesses that plagued him
for the past few decades.

Like Chung, Kim Ki-soo in Seoul and Kang Jong-hoon in Pusan also
complained of unknown skin and nerve diseases. In separate interviews, the
said they served in the 25th and 3rd infantry divisions, respectively, during the
period the defoliants were spread in the DMZ. They gave similar testimonies
on the situation in which the defoliants were sprayed and on the diseases they subsequently suffered from.

The three are among the more than 300 Army veterans and civilians who,
during the past two weeks, have called local veterans associations and civic
groups claiming they were exposed to Agent Orange and are suffering from
diseases caused by defoliants.

In mid-November, the South Korean Defense Ministry and the Pentagon
verified a report that the U.S. Forces Korea first suggested use of the
defoliants in 1967. It supplied Agent Orange, Agent Blue and Monuron to
South Korean Army soldiers, who were mobilized for the spraying mission.
More than 59,000 gallons of the defoliants, including 21,000 gallons of the
highly toxic Agent Orange, were spread on 20,794 acres of land along a
100-meter strip south of the 155-mile-long DMZ.

Neither the South Korean nor the U.S. forces knew how toxic the defoliants
were, and no proper warning was given to the soldiers involved in the spray

Some South Korean officials expressed displeasure after U.S. Secretary of
Defense William Cohen in late November said the Pentagon was not liable for
the spray of the toxic defoliants. Cohen said the spray was conducted with the
decision of the South Korean government, reversing an earlier Pentagon
spokesman's announcement that it was the U.S. forces that suggested use of
the defoliants and supplied them.

'Considering the allied relationship with the United States, we will not make
an open complaint,' a Defense Ministry official said. 'But the (Korean) victims
could nevertheless sue the U.S. government and chemical companies.' A
group of South Korean veterans exposed to Agent Orange during the
Vietnam War are already suing the U.S. government and chemical
manufacturers Dow Chemical and Monsanto for compensation.

The Defense Ministry said last week the government was working to expand
a law that offers medical and financial support to Vietnam's Agent Orange
victims to cover soldiers and civilians exposed to the defoliant in Korea's
DMZ 30 years ago.

Once the law is revised, the Patriots and Veterans Administration will begin to
receive complaints from the DMZ's Agent Orange victims, a ministry official

Larry Anderson's caseMeanwhile, in the United States, U.S. army veterans
are also asking to be compensated for exposure to defoliants while serving in
So far, the U.S. government has recognized a few cases in which its own
soldiers were exposed to Agent Orange here. One of these veterans is
Thomas Wolfe, whom the U.S. government recognized in March this year.

But Wolfe, who is suffering from cancer, is an exception to the rule. For
example, Larry Anderson, who claims he was too exposed to Agent Orange
while serving in Korea in 1969-69 and again in 1976-78, has been denied
recognition. He says the defoliants have caused him skin diseases, circulatory
problems, nerve damage, and severe and frequent headaches.

Four of his nine children are suffering from multiple handicaps, epilepsy, or
skin disorders, he told The Korea Herald.

As the Pentagon and the U.S. Department of the Army believe that no U.S.
soldiers were directly involved in the spray mission, the U.S. government has
refused to accept his plea that the problems were caused by Agent Orange,
saying he was not in Vietnam.

'I have been mocked and laughed at, even in the Veterans Association
hospital,' said Anderson from Chubbuck, Idaho, in a telephone and a
subsequent e-mail interview. Anderson said he served at Camp Red Cloud in
Uijongbu and then at the 547th Engineer Battalion south of Kimpo as a
combat medic from February 1968 to March 1969. One day he was
instructed to use Agent Orange to spray 'around all the buildings [in the
camp] to kill vegetation.' He said he enlisted the help of South Korean
soldiers and others to clean up the camp. He also recalled that 'a large cloud
of an irritant gas' was spread that caused several soldiers to have many
complaints, including himself, from the gases on their clothing.

He said he sprayed Agent Orange several times. 'There was no warning, no
caution, nothing to tell an ignorant 19- or 20-year-old that it was dangerous
or hazardous. I did not have gloves, masks or anything to protect skin or
clothes. I did also have South Korean KATUSA soldiers assist me in these
sprays,' he recalled.

After about a year, he became sick with diarrhea, sudden loss of weight, skin
rashes, nose irritation. He was sent back to Korea to the 2nd Infantry
Division in December 1976. One day, 'we received orders to withdraw all
remaining supplies of Agent Orange powder from inventory. I did this and
turned them in into the supply channels for disposal,' he recalled.

After he returned to the United States, he wanted to see about the problems
he had from exposure to Agent Orange. But doctors repeatedly denied him
access to veterans' hospitals, since he was not a Vietnam War veteran.

In addition to the diseases, of himself and his children, he said he is suffering
from the 'denials and insults that I have been given for so many years.'

Anderson said the U.S. Veterans Association now recognizes the condition
but refuses service in connection with it.

He said he has an appeal pending for medical and financial support. 'But I
expect it again to be denied,' Anderson said.

But he said he finds encouragement in Thomas Wolfe's case. 'If they
recognized him, why not me?' he said.

As Anderson puts it, all Korean and U.S. soldiers exposed to Agent Orange
should be recognized and compensated. But it is uncertain now how long it
will take and how many more times they'll be denied before they are

Updated: 12/06/1999, by Lee Sung-yul Staff reporter

Korea Herald


TED BARKER wrote on January 1, 2009


> Korean vets that can show exposure should be able to file claims for health
> problems such as cancer.
> ******************
> Korean Herald Newspaper, Korea
> [Editorial]A toxic disclosure 11/19/1999
> The news that Agent Orange, a toxic defoliant Koreans thought was used
> only in the Vietnam War, was also sprayed along the southern edge of the
> Demilitarized Zone in Korea in the late 1960s is startling. The disclosure,
> made by SBS-TV Monday, is another sign of changing public perceptions in
> this post-Cold War era.
> Although the use of the dreadful chemical and two other kinds of
> herbicide in the strategic areas of the 155-mile truce line has been
> established as a fact, details on who is responsible for its use have yet to
> be determined. Defense Minister Cho Sung-tae appropriately reacted by
> ordering an investigation to verify the report. The United States also
> responded by confirming the use. But there are differences between the two
> allies in explaining which side first decided to use the chemicals. This is
> only part of the controversial issue that needs to be discussed by the two
> countries. The Korea-U.S. security consultative meeting opening in
> Washington next week will be a good place to start the dialogue.
> It appears both countries are responsible for the use of the defoliants,
> whose effect on Korean soldiers who took part in the spraying operation is
> yet to be fully determined. Already there is a claim by the wife of one of
> the participants that she gave birth to a daughter with deformities in 1969.
> Her husband, a former chemical officer, reportedly said he has heard of a
> few cases in which retired soldiers were suffering from defoliant-related
> side effects.
> We fully understand that there was a need for the use of the defoliating
> chemicals to help prevent the infiltration of North Korean soldiers and
> agents. In fact, the first of the two spraying operations began on April 15,
> 1968, nearly three months after 31 North Korean commandos infiltrated the
> barrier of the U.S. Second Infantry Division in an attempt to raid Chong Wa
> Dae, the presidential mansion, in Seoul. All but one of them were killed.
> That first spraying ended May 30. The second was conducted between May
> 19 and July 31 in 1969. The Korean government estimates that the amount
> sprayed during the two years was equal to only 0.3 percent of the defoliants
> used in Vietnam.
> According to the announcements, the Korean troops wore gauze masks and
> gloves and used hand equipment in spraying the Agent Orange mixed with
> diesel and the Agent Blue diluted with water. No such protective gear was
> used in spreading powdered Monuron by hand. Questions are raised as to
> whether those Korean soldiers were forewarned of the types and nature of the
> chemicals and of the maximum precautions that needed to be taken in the
> operations. Our assumption is that they might have regarded the chemicals as
> benign as commercially available herbicides.
> The Defense Ministry recalled that it issued a press release on Jan. 12,
> 1968, about the decision for the spraying. But in those times, when people
> were preoccupied with security concerns, the general public voiced little
> concern. Now, the Koreans, like people elsewhere, are keenly aware of health
> problems from the use of such chemicals as the toxic defoliants, which can
> cause cancer, dysfunction of the liver and other organs and birth defects.
> One example is the concern this country shared with other nations in the
> recent controversy over dioxin-contaminated food imports. Dioxin is also
> found in Agent Orange.
> It seems that Korea and the United States are putting forth different
> views on the decision for the spraying, presumably because of the
> compensation issue that may arise for victims. Regarding the question, the
> Defense Ministry has responded by saying that the government will consider
> providing the cost for the treatment of patients with related health
> problems when they appear along the lines of the legislation enacted for
> Vietnam War veterans. The remarks by a U.S. Defense Department spokesman
> that he was not aware of any complaints of Koreans harmed by the use of
> Agent Orange and the other chemicals are considered premature.
> Complaints from the Vietnam veterans suffering from illnesses from
> exposure to toxic defoliants led to the legislation in 1997. Thousands of
> those Koreans have been waging a legal battle for compensation from the U.S.
> government and chemical companies, but only after the settlement of the
> complaints of Vietnam veterans from the United States, Canada, Australia and
> New Zealand.
> Korea and the United States should wisely resolve the latest differences
> in a way that will not damage their solidarity.


TED BARKER wrote on January 1, 2009



By John L. Davis

In 1968-69, during the 'Second Korean War,'
59,000 gallons of three toxic chemicals
defoliated nearly 21,000 acres of the DMZ.
For vets of the U.S. 2nd and 7th Infantry
divisions, the recent U.S.Government
acknowledgment is a major breakthrough.

It is said you can no more win a
war than you can win an earth-
quake. Events transpiring on the
Korean Peninsula some 30 years
ago add credence to that old adage.
An investigation by the South Korean
government into reports U.S. troops
sprayed Agent Orange along the Korean
demilitarized zone (DMZ) three decades
ago has raised questions about possible
contamination of American servicemen
who also served on that hostile border.
Citing declassified U.S. Department of
Defense documents, Korean officials fear
thousands of its soldiers may have come
into contact with the deadly defoliant in
the late 1960s and early 1970s. According
to one top government official, as many
as '30,000 Korean veterans are suffering
from illness related to their exposure.
The exact number of GIs who may
have been exposed is unknown. But C.
David Benbow, a North Carolina attor-
ney who served as a sergeant with Co. C,
3rd Bn., 23rd Inf. Regt., 2nd Div., along
the DMZ in 1968-69, estimates as many
as '4,000 soldiers at any given time'
could have been affected.
Benbow, a life member of Post 2031
in Statesville, N.C., is spearheading a
campaign to publicize the use of the
defoliant in South Korea. He bases his
estimate on 'the number of GIs who
received hostile fire pay' while serving
between 1968 and 1973.
'Hostile fire pay began on April 2,1968,
for soldiers serving north of the Imjin
River' Benbow explained. 'And it ended
on Sept. 1, 1973. These 4,000 soldiers [out
of the 50,000 serving at any given time in
Korea] should be the focal point for deter-
mining the rate of exposure.
The region was on heightened alert due
to the continuing war in Vietnam and the
seizure of the USS Pueblo by North Korean
forces, Benbow said.
According to a Pentagon spokesman,
the total number of soldiers serving
'North of the Imjin River' during the
period in question '[probably] did not
exceed 20,000.'

Previously, the U.S. government had said
Agent Orange was used only in Vietnam.
But a recent television report by the
Seoul Broadcasting System quoted from
the Defense Department documents:
'American troops stationed in South
Korea spread more than 21,000 gallons
of toxic defoliants along the border in
1968 and 1969.'
At a Pentagon briefing, Rear Adm.
Craig Quigley said the U.S. military
'researched the matter' as a result of the
South Korean media reports.
'[But] there is no evidence of an
effort to cover up use of Agent Orange in
Korea,' Quigley stated. Its use was not
classified but 'just had fallen off people's
scopes for a long period of time.'
There was 'widespread knowledge' of
the use of herbicides in Korea at the time,
Quigley added. 'Along with involvement
of the U.S. secretary of state and compa-
rable South Korean officials.'
Regardless of the claims and counter-
claims, evidence of existence of the pre-
viously classified documents has been
around for more than a decade. Denver
Combs, director of the Montgomery
County Veterans Service Center in
Kettering, Ohio, cited the documents in
a Jan. 11,1989, newspaper column.
'[Recently released documents] clear-
ly substantiates that Agent Orange was
also applied in Korea as early as 1968,'
Combs wrote. '[Agent Orange] was used
primarily along the DMZ where over
12,000 of our men were assigned'
According to Combs, the chemical was
used 'to keep the area on either side of
the 18.5-mile barrier clear of vegetation.'
The report first came to light through
the persistence of Fichard D. Morrow, a
former 2nd Infantry Division soldier
who also 'walked the perimeter' during
the early 1970s. Upon returning to the
states, Morrow began to develop classic
symptoms of Agent Orange exposure.
'After [Morrow] fought to get the
documents released;' Benbow said, 'he
stayed with it until Congress passed the
Agent Orange Act of 1991.' Essentially,
because of Morrow's efforts, Benbow
added, 'The legislation allows for service
members stationed outside of Vietnam
to apply for VA disability benefits'
According to the Veterans Benefits
Administration (VBA), service members
who served along the Korean DMZ dur-
ing the late 1960s and early 1970s are cov-
ered under the 1991 Agent Orange Act.
For veterans who served elsewhere on the
peninsula, eligibility for benefits will be
determined on a case-by-case basis.
Special legislation would have to be
enacted for 'blanket coverage;' VBA says.

In the intervening years, Combs, Benbow,
Morrow and others have worked to bring
the story to the public's attention. Mostly,
however, it remained a back-burner topic
until the Korean media broke it last
November. Benbow thinks it's about time.
'An old Army buddy of mine, Jimmy
Pleenor, often commented that he
remembered being on patrol [along the
DMZJ and walking through head-high
vegetation dripping with defoliant and
diesel fuel;' Benbow said. 'He told me
how his clothes were soaked from the
defoliant even though it hadn't rained for
days. It's stories like this that have kept me
motivated to try to do the right thing.'
Benbow, an 'Admin. NCO;' who also
'walked patrol and served in the foxholes
[along the DMZ],' remembers seeing
Korean troops and service workers using
'hand-applied sprayers' to clear away the
thick foliage in the no-man's land sepa-
rating North from South Korea.
'Every night of the 16 months I spent
in Korea, GIs were sitting in foxholes
along the barrier fence and the area was
totally devoid of vegetation;' Benbow
said. 'We also filled our canteens and
water cans from a spring at the base of a
defoliated guard post called 'Gladys.'
Agent Orange had to have washed down
the hill and into our water supply.'

A March 12, 1999, ruling by VAs Board of
Appeals served to bolster Benbow's claims.
Citing the 1991 legislation, the Board
awarded ftlll VA benefits to a former
'Camp Casey soldier' suffering from non-
Hodgkin's lymphoma (a cancer widely
associated with Agent Orange exposure).
Linkage of the disease with exposurt
to Agent Orange in Korea marked
major milestone for Benbow and his fel-
low veterans. 'Taken [in context] witl
release of the documents, there is n(
doubt that our suspicions were right al
along;' Benbow said. '[We] are not doing
this for anything other than fairness' Q

JOHN L. DAVIS, a VFW life member, is a
Virginia based free-lance writer.


TED BARKER wrote on January 1, 2009





TED BARKER wrote on January 1, 2009


VA Appeal Court Decision on AO

Citation Nr: 0013840   
Decision Date: 05/25/00 Archive Date: 06/05/00

DOCKET NO. 97-31 416   )   DATE

On appeal from the
Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Office in New
Orleans, Louisiana


1. Entitlement to service connection for prostate problems
secondary to Agent Orange exposure.

2. Entitlement to service connection for coronary artery
disease secondary to Agent Orange exposure.

3. Entitlement to a compensable evaluation for post
operative cholecystectomy with chronic gastritis.


Appellant represented by:   Elzie Fitzgerald, Agent


C.A. Skow, Counsel

The appellant served on active duty between May 1960 and
January 1980.

This matter came before the Board of Veterans' Appeals (the
Board) on appeal from July and September 1996 rating
decisions of the New Orleans, Louisiana, Department of
Veterans Affairs Regional Office (VARO).


1. Competent medical evidence has not been presented showing
a prostate disorder, including prostate cancer.

2. Competent medical evidence has not been presented showing
a nexus, or link, between coronary artery disease and Agent
Orange exposure in service, or service generally; heart
disease is not shown within the appellant's initial post
separation year.

3. The appellant's service-connected stomach disorder is
currently manifested by complaints of mid-abdominal cramping
associated with intermittent constipation and occasional
diarrhea, with a feeling of incomplete evacuation of bowels,
and symptoms of colonic distention occurring 2 to 3 times a


1. A well grounded claim for service connection for a
prostate disorder has not been presented. 38 U.S.C.A.
§§ 1101, 1110, 1131, 5107 (West 1991 & Supp. 1999); 38 C.F.R.
§ 3.303, 3.307(a)(6), 3.309(e) (1999).

2. A well grounded claim for service connection for coronary
artery disease has not been presented. 38 U.S.C.A. §§ 1101,
1110, 1131, 5107 (West 1991 & Supp. 1999); 38 C.F.R. § 3.303,
3.307(a)(6), 3.309(e) (1999).

3. The schedular criteria for a compensable evaluation for
post operative cholecystectomy with chronic gastritis are not
met. 38 U.S.C.A. §§ 1155, 5107 (West 1991 & Supp. 1999);
38 C.F.R. § 3.321, Part 4, Diagnostic Code 7318 (1999).


I. Claims for Service Connection

The appellant seeks service connection for a prostate
disorder and coronary artery disease due to herbicidal
exposure (Agent Orange) in service. Service connection may
be granted, when the facts, as shown by the evidence,
establish that a particular injury or disease resulting in
chronic disability was incurred in service, or, if pre-
existing service, was aggravated therein. 38 U.S.C.A. § 1110
(West 1991 & Supp. 1999); 38 C.F.R. § 3.303 (1999). In the
case of any disease diagnosed after discharge, service
connection may be granted when all the evidence, including
that pertinent to service, establishes that the disease was
incurred in service. 38 C.F.R. § 3.303(d) (1999). Service
connection is presumed if a veteran manifests a chronic
disease, such as cardiovascular, to a degree of at least 10
percent within one year after separation from service.
38 U.S.C.A. § 1112 (West 1991 & Supp. 1999); 38 C.F.R.
§§ 3.307, 3.309 (1999).

In addition, the law provides that certain diseases
associated with exposure to herbicide agents, including Agent
Orange, may be presumed to have been incurred in service if
they become manifest at anytime after service, such as,
prostate cancer. 38 C.F.R. § 3.307(a)(6)(ii) (1999).
Cardiovascular disease is not subject to the presumption of
service connection based on herbicidal exposure. See 38
C.F.R. § 3.309(e)(1999).
However, the threshold question to be answered in all cases
is whether the appellant's claim is well grounded; that is,
whether it is plausible, meritorious on its own, or otherwise
capable of substantiation. Murphy v. Derwinski, 1 Vet.App.
78 (1990); Epps v. Gober, 126 F. 3d 1464 (1997), adopting the
definition in Epps v. Brown, 9 Vet. App. 341, 344 (1996). If
a particular claim is not well grounded, then the appeal
fails and there is no further duty to assist in developing
facts pertinent to the claim since such development would be
futile. 38 U.S.C.A § 5107(a) (West 1991 & Supp. 1999).
Furthermore, a claim which is not well grounded precludes the
Board from reaching the merits of a claim. Boeck v. Brown, 6
Vet. App. 14, 17 (1993).

To establish a plausible claim, a veteran must present
medical evidence of a current disability; medical evidence,
or, in certain circumstances, lay evidence, of in-service
incurrence or aggravation of a disease or injury; and medical
evidence of a nexus or link between the claimed in-service
disease or injury and the present disease or injury. Epps v.
Gober, 126 F.3d 1464 (1997); Caluza v. Brown, 7 Vet. App.
498, 506 (1995). Alternatively, a claim may be well grounded
based on application of the rule for chronicity and
continuity of symptomatology, set forth in 38 C.F.R.
§ 3.303(b) (1999). Savage v. Gober, 10 Vet. App. 489, 495-98

An appellant has, by statute, the duty to submit evidence
that a claim is well grounded. 38 U.S.C.A. 5107(a) (West
1991 & Supp. 1999). Where such evidence is not submitted,
the claim is not well grounded, and the initial burden placed
on the appellant is not met. See Tirpak v. Derwinski, 2 Vet.
App. 609 (1992). Evidentiary assertions by the appellant
must be accepted as true for the purposes of determining
whether a claim is well grounded, except where the
evidentiary assertion is inherently incredible. See King v.
Brown, 5 Vet.App. 19 (1993).

A. Prostate Disorder

With respect to the claim for service connection for a
prostate disorder, the evidence of records is negative for
any dysfunction of the prostate and the presence of prostate
cancer. Specifically, we observe that the appellant was seen
in the VA urology clinic in January 1997 and that examination
of the prostate was without abnormalities even though the
appellant was informed by a letter dated October 1996 that
his the results of his prostate-specific antigen blood test
(a prognostic test for prostate cancer) were considered
abnormal. There is no diagnosis of record for prostate

As competent medical evidence has not been presented showing
a prostate disorder or prostate cancer, the claim is not well
grounded on a direct basis, and under the Agent Orange laws
and regulations. We note that the appellant as a layman is
not competent to offer opinions on medical diagnosis or
causation, and that the Board may not accept unsupported lay
speculation with regard to medical issues. See Espiritu v.
Derwinski, 2 Vet.App. 482 (1992); Moray v. Brown, 5 Vet.App.
211 (1993). Moreover, lay assertions of medical causation or
medical diagnosis cannot constitute evidence to render a
claim well grounded. Lathan v. Brown, 7 Vet.App. 359, 365
(1995); Grottveitt v. Brown, 5 Vet. App. 91, 93 (1993);
Tirpak supra. at 611.

B. Coronary Artery Disease

Regarding the claim for service connection for coronary
artery disease, the Board observes that competent medical
evidence has been presented showing the presence of the
claimed disorder. However, competent medical evidence has
not been presented showing a nexus, or link, between heart
disease and Agent Orange exposure in service, or service
generally. Additionally, heart disease was not shown within
the initial post separation year and, therefore, presumptive
service connection under 38 C.F.R. § 3.309(a) is not
warranted.. Presumptive service connection is not provided
for cardiovascular disease under 38 C.F.R. § 3.309(e)
(diseases associated with exposure to certain herbicide
agents). Therefore, the Board finds that the claim is not
well grounded on a direct basis and under the Agent Orange
laws and regulations.

C. Procedural Considerations

We note that under 38 U.S.C.A. § 5103(a) the VA is obligated
to advise claimants of the evidence necessary to complete his
application. Robinette v. Brown, 8 Vet.App. 69 (1995). VARO
successfully completed this obligation in its statement of
the case. Likewise, the Board's discussion above informs the
appellant of the requirements for the completion of his
application for the claims for service connection.

II. Claims for Increase

The appellant contends that the noncompensable evaluation
assigned his service-connected post operative cholecystectomy
with chronic gastritis does not reflect adequately the
severity of his gastrointestinal symptomatology. He asserts
that the evaluation should be increased based on cramping,
intermittent constipation, occasional diarrhea, and a feeling
of incomplete evacuation of bowels. A claim for an increased
evaluation is well grounded where the claimant asserts that a
higher rating is justified due to an increase in severity of
the service-connected condition. See Caffrey v. Brown,
6 Vet.App. 377, 381 (1994); Proscelle v. Derwinski,
2 Vet.App. 629, 631-632 (1992). As the appellant has claimed
that his disability is more severe, his claim is well
grounded within the meaning of 38 U.S.C.A. § 5107(a) (West

Once a claimant has presented a well grounded claim, the VA
has a duty to assist the claimant in developing facts which
are pertinent to the claim. See 38 U.S.C.A. § 5107(a) (West
1991). The Board finds that all relevant facts have been
properly developed, and that all evidence necessary for
equitable resolution of the issue on appeal has been
obtained. 38 U.S.C.A. § 5103(a) (West 1991).

Disability evaluations are determined by comparing the
veteran's current symptomatology with the criteria set forth
in the Schedule for Rating Disabilities (rating schedule).
38 U.S.C.A. § 1155 (West 1991); 38 C.F.R. Part 4 (1999). In
making its determination, the Board analyzes the extent to
which a service-connected disability adversely affects a
veteran's ability to function under the ordinary conditions
of daily life, and bases the assigned rating, as far as
practicable, on the average impairment of earning capacity in
civil occupations. 38 U.S.C.A. § 1155 (West 1991); 38 C.F.R.
§§ 4.1, 4.10 (1999). If two evaluations are potentially
applicable, the higher evaluation will be assigned if the
disability picture more nearly approximates the criteria
required for that evaluation; otherwise, the lower rating
will be assigned. 38 C.F.R. § 4.7 (1999). Any reasonable
doubt regarding a degree of disability will be resolved in
favor of the veteran. See 38 C.F.R. § 4.3 (1999).

Where entitlement to compensation has already been
established and an increase in disability rating is at issue,
the present level of disability is of primary concern. While
the entire recorded history of a disability is to be reviewed
by the rating specialist, the regulations do not give past
medical reports precedence over current findings. Francisco
v. Brown, 7 Vet. App. 55, 58 (1994).

The Board notes that in assigning an appropriate rating, the
policy against 'pyramiding' of disability awards enumerated
by 38 C.F.R. § 4.14 must be considered. The assignment of a
particular diagnostic code is 'completely dependent on the
facts of a particular case.' Butts v. Brown, 5 Vet.App. 532,
538 (1993). One diagnostic code may be more appropriate than
another based on such factors as an individual's relevant
medical history, the current diagnosis and demonstrated
symptomatology. Any change in a diagnostic code by a VA
adjudicator must be specifically explained. See Pernorio v.
Derwinski, 2 Vet.App. 625, 629 (1992). In this case, the
Board considered whether another rating code is 'more
appropriate' than the one used by VARO. See Tedeschi v.
Brown, 7 Vet.App. 411, 414 (1995).

Service connection was established for post operative
cholecystectomy with chronic gastritis in an August 1981
rating decision. A noncompensable evaluation was assigned,
effective from June 1980, under 38 C.F.R. § 4.114, Diagnostic
Code 7318. This code provides for a 0 percent evaluation for
nonsymptomatic gall bladder removal, a 10 percent evaluation
for mild residuals of gall bladder removal and a 30 percent
evaluation for severe symptoms. 38 C.F.R. § 4.114, Diagnostic
Code 7318 (1999).

In the appellant's case, the medical evidence shows that the
disorder is essentially asymptomatic. While VA outpatient
treatment reports show frequent complaints of abdominal pain
and discomfort, the objective findings show no abnormal
pathology. A CT of the abdomen in August 1998 was normal. On
VA examination in July 1998, the appellant complained of mid-
abdominal cramping associated with intermittent constipation
and occasional diarrhea, with a feeling of incomplete
evacuation of bowels. However, the appellant denied vomiting,
hematemesis, circulatory disturbances after meals, and weight
loss or gain. He reported symptoms of colonic distention
occurring 2 to 3 times a week. Objectively, there was no
evidence of ulcer disease, weight appeared stable, there was
no anemia, and there was no abdominal tenderness. An
esophagogastroduodenoscopy and colonoscopy were essentially
normal. The diagnosis was spastic colitis.

The objective medical findings of record do not show at a
minimum mild residual symptoms of gall bladder removal.
Therefore, the preponderance of the evidence is against the
claim for increase.

The above discussion is based upon consideration of pertinent
provisions of the VA's Schedule for Rating Disabilities.
Additionally, the Board notes that there is no indication that
the schedular criteria are inadequate to evaluate the
disability associated with the removal of the appellant's gall
bladder. The records do not show, nor does the appellant
argue, that removal of his gall bladder has caused marked
interference with employment, or frequent periods of
hospitalization, or otherwise have rendered impracticable the
application of the regular schedular standards. In the
absence of evidence of such factors, application of the
extraschedular provisions in 38 C.F.R. § 3.321(b)(1) is not
warranted. See Bagwell v. Brown, 9 Vet. App. 337, 338-9
(1996); Shipwash v. Brown, 8 Vet. App. 218, 227 (1995).


Service connection for a prostate disorder is denied.

Service connection for coronary artery disease is denied.

A compensable evaluation for post operative cholecystectomy
with chronic gastritis is denied.

   Member, Board of Veterans' Appeals


TED BARKER wrote on January 1, 2009




Details diseases and after effects to Dioxin among others


TED BARKER wrote on January 1, 2009


Dioxin Exposure


High-level Dioxin Exposure Increases Cancer Risk

Article date: 1999/06/17
June 17, 1999 - Men exposed to high levels of the chemical dioxin at work have a significantly increased risk of all cancers, according to a study published in the May 5, 1999, Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The study, conducted by scientists at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), found a 60 percent increase in cancer risk for chemical workers at the highest levels of exposure, compared with cancer risk for the general population.
Researchers also found an increase in heart disease among the workers with the highest levels of exposure, but only in comparison with other workers in the study and not in comparison to the general population. And there was no increase in diabetes risk with increasing exposure, as was suggested by previous studies.

The study included 3,538 men who worked in US chemical plants from 1942 through 1984. Researchers calculated workers? exposure to a particular form of dioxin known as 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, or TCDD. 'High levels, at 1,000 times environmental levels, appear to cause an increase in all cancers,' said lead study author Kyle Steenland, PhD, of the International Agency for Research on Cancer. He added, 'We saw no increase (in risk) in lower levels, although such an increase cannot be ruled out due to sample size considerations.'

Dioxin is one of the chemicals in Agent Orange, an herbicide used by the US during the Vietnam War to kill jungle vegetation. Currently, dioxin is found as a byproduct of some industrial processes involving chlorine, hydrocarbons, and heat. For example, some dioxin contamination results from incinerators and from paper and pulp factories. However, levels of exposure are very low for workers in these industries and for the general public, compared with the high exposure of the chemical workers included in the study.

This is 'excellent research on a difficult topic,' according to Michael Thun, MD, vice president of epidemiology and surveillance research for the American Cancer Society (ACS). 'It has been difficult to confirm dioxins cause cancer in humans because the occupational groups with the highest exposure are fairly small. And in these workers [who have far greater exposure than the general public] there seems to be slightly increased risk of many cancers, rather than strongly increased risk of a few,' he said.

Dr. Thun said the most significant findings were:

High TCDD exposure was associated with increased death rates from all cancers combined, without any marked specificity.
Excess cancer was limited to the highest exposed workers, who were likely to have been 100 to 1,000 times more exposed than the general population.
'The message to the public is while it is important to minimize environmental pollution with chemicals such as dioxins, these are not presently major contributors to our overall cancer risk,' Dr. Thun concluded.

Environmental Factors Impact Health
The Environment and Your Health

ACS News Center stories are provided as a source of cancer-related news and are not intended to be used as press releases.

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TED BARKER wrote on January 1, 2009



Case Studies in Environmental Medicine (CSEM)

Taking an Exposure History
Which Organ Systems Are Affected By Toxic Exposure?


TED BARKER wrote on January 1, 2009



Table of Toxins and their Treatments


TED BARKER wrote on January 1, 2009


Do a Google or Dogpile search for:

Toxic Effects of Pesticides

The results pages have many links of valuable reading.

I have added pesticides for the spraying page since they were used heavily during US occupation of Korea prior to the war and up until most were banned in the 80's.



TED BARKER wrote on January 1, 2009



The Air Force and Herbicides in SEA 1961-71

265 pages, must reading


TED BARKER wrote on January 1, 2009


The National Research Council and Academy of Science in the U.S. was commissioned to study scientific and policy issues concerning pesticides in the diets of infants and children. They have concluded the following:
'   The amounts and variety of pesticides now used are far greater than in any other time in history.
'   Both quantitative and qualitative differences in toxicity of pesticides exist between children and adults. Infants and children may develop toxic outcomes from smaller quantities due to different metabolic rates, greater absorptive areas, diets more concentrated with certain foods high in pesticides but they may also have outcomes such as neurological, behavioural, endocrinological and oncological that are not seen in adults due to critical windows of exposure both in utero and during certain growth phases.
'   'Tolerances' constitute the most important mechanism by which maximal allowable levels of pesticide residues in food are determined. Tolerance concentrations are based primarily on the results of trials conducted by pesticide manufacturers and are designed to reflect the highest residue concentrations likely under normal conditions of agricultural use. Tolerances are not based primarily on health considerations.1 Medical clinicians and researchers need to ensure that maximal allowable levels are based on health considerations  both in the level found on food sources and in that consequently found in water and soil.
'   Current regulatory systems look only at the average exposure of the entire population. As a consequence, variations in dietary exposure to pesticides and health risks related to age and to other factors such as geographic region and ethnicity are not addressed.1
'   Diet is an important source of exposure to pesticides.1
How is the issue of Pesticides relevant to Canadian Physicians and their Patient Population?
Q. Is the chronic exposure from food and water, surface contact from lawn spraying, play structures and homes causing long term effects such as birth defects, neurotoxicity or increases in behavioural, endocrine, immunological and oncological disease?
A. The Committee on Pesticides in the Diet of Infants and Children (CPDIC) concluded that the population is at great risk from the existing allowable levels of pesticide residues and that the data strongly suggest that exposure to these neurotoxic compounds at levels believed to be safe for adults could result in permanent loss of brain function when it occurs during prenatal and early childhood periods of brain development.1 Toxicologists agree that by extrapolation from hazard assessment studies conducted primarily in rodents, pesticides have the potential to produce toxicity in humans, a potential that includes many different toxic end points. Recent studies have investigated nonoccupational human exposure, such as those presented by Leiss et al, who demonstrated an association between yard treatments and soft tissue sarcomas (odds ratio 4.0) and the use of pest strips and leukemias (OR 1.73.0) in children.2 Similar findings have been reported by Gold et al, who report an association between exposure to insecticide extermination and brain tumors (OR 2.3)3; Lowengart et al, who report an association between household pesticides and leukemia (OR 4.0) and garden pesticides and leukemia (OR 5.6)4 and most recently Davis et al, who found odds ratios up to 6.2 for several pesticide specific exposures among children with brain cancer.5
Q. Are we as a medical community ensuring that pesticides, as a public health issue, are being adequately monitored and controlled to ensure appropriate protection of the population?
A. The CPDIC1 has demonstrated that infants and children are particularly at risk of consuming toxic amounts of pesticides. This data is transferable to our Canadian population and we need to ensure that our public health system includes methods of determining maximal allowable levels of pesticides in foods based on human health outcomes, that there is education and restrictions on home and institutional pesticide spraying where children and adults can be exposed to acute and chronically toxic levels of pesticides and support the use and development of nontoxic alternatives.
' Although many pesticides act at the same site no calculations are made to determine multiple residual exposure in diets. Many food products will have a number of pesticide residues. Agriculture Canada reports that the average peach in Canada has 31 pesticide residues.6 The majority of these act at the same sites; the parasympathetic and central nervous systems. Although the residue of one pesticide may not exceed the maximum allowable level, a number of pesticides of the same class, acting at the same physiological sites, will have a cumulative and possibly toxic effect.
' Pesticides are commonly found in water consumed by both rural and urban populations. Groundwater was found to have residues of 39 pesticides and their degradation products in a study of U.S. states and Canadian provinces.7
' Allowable pesticide levels for water are calculated on the basis of adult exposure and toxicity but again the pediatric population is exposed to a considerably greater total amount of residues that are potentially toxic because they are consuming on average 4 times the amount of water per kg of body weight.1
' Residues of pesticides that are 'severely restricted' because of their serious effects on human health were also found in significant quantities in the water sources.1
' Residues enter the water supply as they are leached from soil into ground water after home, lawn, roadway and agricultural spraying.
' Infants and children can absorb enough pesticide through their skin to produce toxicity. There are a number of reports of infants and children presenting with poisoning secondary to playing on lawns and surfaces that have had pesticides applied.7 The surface area of infants per unit body weight is double that of the adult, infants have much greater unprotected skin contact with such surfaces and tend to mouth objects that may be exposed to these surfaces. It must also be realized that adults also are absorbing pesticide residues from such sources contributing to chronic exposure. ' Insect repellents and pediculocides are concentrated exposures that are absorbed through the intact skin. There are reports of children developing behavioural changes, encephalopathy, ataxia, seizures and coma following cutaneous exposure8 and neurobehavioural correlations have been found between cutaneous exposure and affective symptoms, insomnia, muscle cramps and urinary hesitation.9
' Farmers exposed to herbicides, through spraying and predominantly skin absorption, for more than 20 days per year have been found to have a sixfold increase of non-Hodgkins lymphoma.10
' Pesticides are airborne thus they are found long distances from the site of application. Restricting the use of organochlorines (DDT, etc.) in Canada does not result in eliminating human exposure, as air, and then water and food contamination are not obstructed by borders.
The most widely used pesticides function by disrupting neurological cellular function. The systemic toxic effects after acute exposure are well documented and the CPDIC conclude that emerging data suggest that neurotoxic and behavioural effects may result from low level chronic exposure to organophosphates and carbamate pesticides.1 These are commonly used pesticides in Canada; found in food, lawn and garden pesticides and household products.
Prescribed commonly by physicians in Canada for treatment of head lice and scabies, this is a brand name for Lindane, an organochlorine. The organochlorines have been banned as agricultural pesticides because of their severe neurotoxicity and persistence in the environment. There is ongoing concern regarding their medical use as they are potent neurotoxins being used on the head and because they have been shown to have an increased cumulative mortality in animals.11 Physicians should be using readily available alternatives that are not organochlorines.
1. ORGANOPHOSPHATES & CARBAMATES: Diazanon, Dursban, Basudin, Sevin
Both organophosphates and carbamates bind cholinesterases and block their action in the hydrolysis of the acetylcholine neurotransmitters, thus acting principally in the parasympathetic and central nervous system. These have now become the most widely used agricultural pesticides.
' Infants under 6 months appear to be particularly susceptible because they have incompletely developed acetylcholinesterase systems and their immature livers are unable to detoxify these compounds.1
' It appears that not only is this age group more susceptible to toxicity due to physiological difference but their activity and diets also put them at increased risk. Zwiener and Ginsberg12 investigated 37 children exhibiting moderate to severe organophosphate and carbamate toxicity. Although the majority were the result of accidental ingestion 17% of the patients developed signs and symptoms of moderate to severe pesticide toxicity after playing on sprayed surfaces.
' Visual system damage is linked to dietary exposure to some cholinesterase inhibitory compounds.1
' Neurotoxicity depends on the stage of brain development of those exposed. As different human brain structures have varying peak periods of growth it is felt that, like lead toxicity, prenatal and early childhood exposure is particularly toxic.1
' Sherman (1995) describes 4 children with an unusual pattern of birth defects including defects neurological and genitalia. Exposures had occurred in utero to Dursban an organophosphate pesticide. A review of the literature shows similar defects in test animals and other children exposed to organophosphates.13
2. CHLORPHENOXY HERBICIDES: Lawn & Weed Killers such as 2,4-D or Killex, Par 3
These are another very widely used group of pesticides in Canada and worldwide; most commonly used to kill dandelions and broad-leaved weeds in lawns, parks, golf courses and school yards.
' Concern over possible carcinogenic risks from these products is heightened by the potential for widespread exposure. In addition to herbicide formulations used on lawns and in agriculture, these chemicals occur in many wood, leather and textile stains and preservatives.
' The recent study on Home Pesticide Use and Childhood Cancer2 demonstrated a significant correlation between yard treatment with pesticides and pediatric soft tissue sarcoma and between pesticide strips and pediatric leukemias. The pesticide used in pest strips has been shown to be a carcinogen in animals and this strong association with leukemia in children is disturbing given their common use and accessibility to infants and children. This occurs directly or indirectly following application on lawns, lawn furniture and play structures and through storage in the home.
' There are many studies linking exposure to these herbicides with cancer. Studies from Sweden have suggested that workers exposed are at an increased risk of developing soft-tissue sarcoma, Hodgkin's disease and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Hoar et al14 found that exposure to herbicides on greater than 20 days per year resulted in a 6 fold increase in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. These findings coincide with the Findings of increased incidence of NHL in caretakers of golf courses and previous studies on farmers.
These pesticides are chlorine containing compounds including DDT, aldrin, dieldrin and lindane. The organochlorines act through disruption of neurotransmission. PCB's, which are not used as pesticides, are also organochlorines with similar human action and thus have the potential for an additive effect.
' The greatest concern with the organochlorines are the long term effects. The U.S. EPA has concluded that DDT, DDE and DDD are probable human carcinogens. On this basis both Canada and the U.S. banned the organochlorines however, they continue to be very prevalent posing long term health risks.
' The organochlorines are still widely used in developing countries including Central and South America, India, China and many other countries. Products imported from these countries are obvious sources of DDT and other organochlorines. They are also transported in air, oceans and bioaccumulate in organisms.15
" Food is the primary route of exposure. Foods which may contain DDT include: meat, fish and poultry, dairy products and root and leafy vegetables. Fish from the Great Lakes Basin and inland waters are a large food source of organochlorine exposure.
" A study of the concentrations and dietary intake of selected organochlorines in fresh food composites grown in Ontario demonstrated that organochlorine residues were detected in all of the food composites. This included all types of fresh food grown in Ontario including beef, poultry, fruits and vegetables (it did not include fish). The Findings suggest that consumption of eggs and meat is also a significant source of exposure to the majority of organochlorine chemicals studied.16
" The provincial and federal health departments report that there are instances where maximum allowable levels of DDT intake may be exceeded in breast-fed infants.16
" Similarly, they report that people living near hazardous waste sites have been found to have an increased exposure to organochlorines in large part because of leaching into the soil.16
" In Fish and wildlife, there is evidence of reproductive and developmental effects as a consequence of chronic exposure. There is increasing concern that exposure of humans to these chemicals may be causing adverse effects on reproductive function. A number of chemicals in the environment possess estrogenic activity and these compounds include pesticides as well as plasticizers, estrogenic agents administered to livestock and a variety of other chemicals.
" Dr. W. Foster, Head of the Reproductive Toxicology Section at Health Canada concludes, "on the topic of environmental exposures and human reproduction in women, that the consequences of exposure to environmental contaminants over the course of a lifetime are difficult to assess and the available literature does not support a clear conclusion that reproductive health of women has been adversely affected. Nevertheless, the absence of sound epidemiological data to support a causal association between various adverse reproductive outcomes and exposure to chemicals present in the environment cannot be viewed as evidence that such an association does not exist  it is possible that trace contaminant levels may exert clinically subtle effects on female reproductive function such as altered steroid hormone levels. There is a need for well designed studies that need to incorporate sensitive outcome measures such as time to pregnancy, spontaneous abortion rates and breast cancer as well as better defined means of determining body burdens of suspected reproductive toxins."17
" Be aware of the possibility of acute or chronic toxicity secondary to both local lawn spraying, home application and food intake.
" Educate patients regarding the known health concerns associated with pesticides.
" Encourage alternatives to pesticides including
" buying organic products
" using alternatives to pesticides for lawn and garden care as well as indoor pest management. The Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) has a Green Thumb Project where volunteer homeowners trained in chemical-free lawn maintenance will educate any interested homeowner.
" ensuring that local governments and business are not exposing patients or your community pesticides by local spraying or pesticide application. Cootie St. Luc, a Montreal area town has passed a bylaw prohibiting general applications of pesticides. Patients should be encouraged to organize similar endeavours in their communities.
1. National Research Council. Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children. National Academy Press, Washington, DC, 1993.
2. Leiss, Jack K. and Savitz, David A. Home Pesticide Use and Childhood Cancer; A case-control study. Am J Public Health. 85:249252, 1995.
3. Gold, E., Gordis, L., Tonasica, J., Szklo, M. Risk factors for brain tumors in children. Am J Epidemiol. 1979;109:309319.
4. Lowengart, R.S., Peters, J.M., Cicioni, C., et al. Childhood leukemia and parents' occupational and home exposures. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1987;79:3946.
5. Davis, J.R., Brownson, R.C., Garcia, R., Bentz, B.J., Turner, A. Family pesticide use and childhood brain cancer. Arch Environ Contam Toxico. 1993:24:8792.
6. Neidert, E., Trotman, R. and Saschenbrecker, P,. Agriculture Canada, Agri-Food Safety and Strategies Division. Levels and Incidences of Pesticide Residues in Selected Agricultural Food Commodities Available in Canada. Journal of AOAC International. Vol 77, No. 1, 1994.
7. Hallberg, G.R. 1989 Pesticide Pollution of Groundwater in the Humid U.S. Agr Ecosystem Environ 26:299368 p228.
8. Oranskey, et al. 1989. Seizures temporally associated with the use of DEET insect repellent  New York and Connecticut. MMWR 38:678-680 in Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children. 1993.
9. McConnell, et al. 1987. Health Hazard Evaluation Report in Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children. 1993.
10. Hoar, Z.S., Blair, A., et al. Agricultural Herbicide use and risk of lymphoma and soft tissue sarcoma. JAMA 1886.256, 114147.
11. Fournier, et al. 1988 in the Diets of Infants and Children.
12. Zwiener, Robert J. and Ginsburg, Charles M. Organophosphate and Carbamate Poisoning in Infants and Children. Pediatrics, Vol 81, No 1. Jan 1988.
13. Sherman, J. Chlorpyrifos (Dursban) associated Birth Defects. A Proposed Syndrome. International Journal of Occupational Medicine & Toxicology. Vol 4, No. 4, 1995.
14. Hoar, S.K., Blair, A., Holmes, F.F. et al. Agricultural herbicide use and risk of lymphoma and soft tissue sarcoma. Jama, 256: 11411147, 1986.
15. Davies, K. Concentrations and Dietary Intake of Selected Organochlorines, including PCBs, PCDDs and PCDFs in Fresh Food Composites grown in Ontario, Canada. Chemosphere. Vol 17, No 2. p. 163276, 1988.
16. Health and the Environment: A Handbook for Health Professionals. Prepared by The Great Lakes Health Effects Program Health Protection Branch, Health Canada and The Environmental Health and Toxicology Unit Public Health Branch. Ont. MOH. March 1995.
17. Foster, W. Environmental Exposures and Human Reproduction: Women. Head, Reproductive Toxicology Section, Health Canada.Workshop Proceedings: Reproductive Health and the Environment Symposium. Review done by Dr. K. Martin, MD, CCFP-EM.
To find out further information about this document, or receive a copy, please contact our offices at
357 Bay St, Toronto, Ontario, M5H 2T7,
Phone: 416-867-9646 Fax: 416-867-9990
email: ocfp@cfpc.ca


TED BARKER wrote on January 1, 2009


A.458 (Brodsky, et al)
This bill would amend the environmental conservation law to prohibit the manufacture, sale or use of the herbicide 2,4-D and require that it be disposed of in a hazardous waste disposal facility.
2,4-D, a component of the notorious Agent Orange and one of the most heavily used herbicides in New York State, belongs to a class of herbicides known as phenoxyacetic acids. This class of compounds has been strongly linked to certain cancers, such as Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, whose incidence has skyrocketed in recent decades. A committee of the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences which reviewed the medical literature on this issue recently concluded that there is "sufficient evidence of an association," meaning an elevated risk, between exposure to 2,4-D and related herbicides, and the incidence of soft-tissue sarcoma, Non-Hodgkins lymphoma and Hodgkin's disease.
Like DDT, chlordane, and numerous other pesticides, the data on 2,4-D's hazards are now sufficiently weighty to warrant its banning. There are many historical instances of New York State taking the lead on banning or restricting pesticides and the federal government following afterward (aldicarb is one such example). 2,4-D should be the next.
Environmental Advocates strongly supports this bill.

Environmental Advocates, 353 Hamilton Street, Albany, NY, 12210
phone: 800-SAVE-NYS or 518-462-5526, fax: 518-427-0381


TED BARKER wrote on January 1, 2009



Agent Orange was the code name for a herbicide developed for the military, primarily for use in tropical climates. Although the genesis of the product goes back to the 1940's, serious testing for military applications did not begin until the early 1960's.

The purpose of the product was to deny an enemy cover and concealment in dense terrain by defoliating trees and shrubbery where the enmy could hide. The product "Agent Orange" (a code name for the orange band that was used to mark the drums it was stored in, was principally effective against broad-leaf foliage, such as the dense jungle-like terrain found in Southeast Asia.

The product was tested in Vietnam in the early 1960's, and brought into ever widening use during the height of the war (1967-68), though it's use was diminished and eventually discontinued in 1971.

Agent Orange was a 50-50 mix of two chemicals, known conventionally as 2,4,D and 2,4,5,T. The combined product was mixed with kerosene or diesel fuel and dispersed by aircraft, vehicle, and hand spraying. An estimated 19 million gallons of Agent Orange were used in South Vietnam during the war.

The earliest health concerns about Agent Orange were about the product's contamination with TCDD, or dioxin. TCDD is one of a family of dioxins, some found in nature, and are cousins of the dibenzofurans and pcb's.

The TCDD found in Agent Orange is thought to be harmful to man. In laboratory tests on animals, TCDD has caused a wide variety of diseases, many of them fatal. TCDD is not found in nature, but rather is a man-made and always unwanted byproduct of the chemical manufacturing process. The Agent Orange used in Vietnam was later found to be extremely contaminated with TCDD.


TED BARKER wrote on January 1, 2009



This page contains a brief overview of the history of selected synthetic organic chemicals other than petroleum distillates and chlorinated solvents. Similar to the other overviews, this one is primarily limited to the US in the 20th century. See the sources page for further reading and sources of information.
Please contact information@chemicalhistory.com with questions, comments, suggestions, or items for discussion.

Insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, rodenticides, nematicides and similar chemicals are collectively known as pesticides. By the early 20th century, many types of non-synthetic pesticides were already in use. Arsenic pentoxide had been used for centuries in Europe for ant control. Sulfur dust was used to control fungus, cupric acetoarsenite (Paris Green) was used to control potato beetles, and a lime/copper sulfate blend (Bordeaux mixture) was used for control of mildew. Lead arsenate, calcium arsenate, and nicotine sulfate was used as insecticides as of the early 1900s. Early herbicides included various sulfates, nitrates, and arsenates. Early fungicides included mercury-containing compounds.
The large-scale development of synthetic pesticides began during the World War II era. The first organochlorine pesticide is generally considered to be dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, or DDT. Although first synthesized in 1874, its insecticidal properties were unknown until the Swiss chemist Paul Müller's work in 1939. DDT saw its first large-scale use as a pesticide during World War II, when it was used exclusively by the military for controlling disease in war zones. In 1945, the US government allowed surplus DDT to be used for general civilian purposes. In the following years, DDT was used on a large scale throughout the world for pest control. According to the World Health Organization, the use of DDT prevented over 100 million diseases and 5 million deaths in its first eight years of use. DDT is credited with virtually eridcating malaria in some parts of the world. The production of DDT peaked in 1959, but its registration was revoked in 1972 due to its toxicity to humans and animals, its resistance to mineralization, and its ability to bioaccumulate in animal tissue.
Other synthetic pesticides in use as of the 1940s included the organophosphate parathion and the phenoxy herbicides 2,4-D (introduced in 1945) and 2,4,5-T. Organophosphates were developed in Germany during World War II for use as a nerve gas. Phenoxy herbicides were developed by the Allies for potential use in destroying enemy crops, and were later used by the US Army during the Vietnam War as a component of Agent Orange. Between World War II and the Vietnam War, civilian use of 2,4-D for weed control grew considerably. 2,4-D accounted for half of US herbicide production in 1960.
Development of other synthetic pesticides followed, including additional organochlorines (e.g., heptachlor and chlordane), benzene hexachloride (BHC) pesticides (e.g., lindane), other organophosphorus derivatives (e.g., malathion) and carbamates (e.g., carbaryl, Sevin). By 1955, synthetic pesticides controlled 90% of the agricultural pest control market.
Insecticides first came under US government regulation with the Federal Insecticide Act of 1910, which governed sale and use. The Act was replaced by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act of 1947 (FIFRA), which was originally administered by the US Department of Agriculture. Pesticide residues in food and feed crops were regulated under Sections 408 and 409 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act (FFDCA). Section 409 included the 1958 "Delaney Clause" that deemed that no food additive would be considered safe if found to cause cancer in humans or other animals. Pesticide residues, considered as "unintentional food additives," fell under the purview of the Delaney clause.
Amendments to FIFRA in 1959 added herbicides, nematicides, defoliants, dessicants, and plant growth regulators. Other amendments followed, and, in 1972, the regulation was substantially rewritten to include environmental as well as consumer protection. FIFRA required that pesticide developers provide toxicity testing results to the government for new products. Products already on the market were required to be tested under a reregistration process. Originally targeted for completion in 1976, the reregistration process is still ongoing with a target completion date of approximately 2010.
Following the DDT ban in 1972, other pesticides came under increasing scrutiny. Aldrin and dieldrin were banned in 1975, with the exception of termite poisons that contained aldrin, which were banned in 1987. Chlordane and heptachlor were banned from most agricultural uses in 1980 and 1983, respectively. Lindane was banned for uses other than lice shampoos and flea dips in 1983.

PCBs were used as heat-transfer fluids, lubricant inks, adhesives, waxes, fire retardants, paint additives, and dielectric fluids for capacitors and transformers. Commercial PCBs were believed to contain approximately 132 of the 209 possible PCBs. PCBs were first produced commercially in 1929 in response to the electric industry's need for an improved dielectric fluid with increased fire resistance. PCBs rapidly replaced the more flammable mineral oils in this application, and were widely used in the 1950s and early 1960s.
In the early 1960s, a Swedish biologist identified PCBs in fish tissue. In 1968, as the result of an industrial accident, nearly 1,000 people in Japan became ill from eating rice contaminated with PCBs. In the US, "open" uses of PCBs were initially banned in the early 1970s after mounting evidence of bioaccumulation and persistence in the environment was reported. Closed uses in transformers and capacitors were later banned. In the late 1970s, EPA banned the manufacture of PCBs and their use in new applications.
Monsanto Chemical Corporation, the sole North American manufacturer of PCBs, produced more than 1 billion pounds under the trade name Aroclor. Aroclors were differentiated using 4-digit product codes (e.g., Aroclor 1254, Aroclor 1242). The last two digits referred to the percent chlorine content (by weight) in the product. Monsanto ceased PCB production in 1977.

© Copyright 2001-2002 Richard E. Doherty. All rights reserved.


TED BARKER wrote on January 1, 2009




Experts estimate that environmental factors account for nearly three-quarters of cancers, while only a small percentage can be explained by genetics alone. Tobacco is far and away the most important environmental cause of cancer; occupational and community exposure to radiation and chemicals are another source of risk. Poor diet and lack of exercise may also contribute to cancer.

Among chemical carcinogens, persistent organic pollutants pose an important environmental cancer risk. POPs, which include dioxin, DDT, and PCBs, are synthetic chemicals that resist normal environmental degradation. In addition to their persistence in the environment, they are characterized by high toxicity, a special affinity for fat, and the ability to travel long distances. Some POPs have been linked to breast cancer and to non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Others are known carcinogens.

While the evidence is not always conclusive, many links have been found between environmental factors and some cancers, as described below.

Brain Cancer: Studies show that excessive exposure to radiation can lead to brain cancer. Childhood exposure to pesticides and use of electric blankets have been associated with brain cancer, although the evidence on these links is conflicting. Workers in oil refineries, rubber, and drug manufacturing facilities, and those who have high exposures to pesticides, are at higher risk for brain cancer.

Breast Cancer: Breast cancer rates in the Bay Area are among the highest in the world. Rates in white women are almost 50 percent higher than rates in most European countries, according to the Women's Environment and Development Organization. Bay Area African-American women have the fourth highest rate in the world. Although the reasons for these high rates are unclear, experts suspect that environmental factors may play a role. Recent studies have linked breast cancer with exposure to certain pesticides and to chemicals in the environment that mimic estrogen. These estrogen-mimicking chemicals (called endocrine disruptors) are found in certain pesticides, plastics, and the byproducts of combustion, including diesel exhaust and incinerator emissions. Studies also indicate that women who have diets high in fat and who consume high levels of alcohol are at greater risk. Because many endocrine-disrupting chemicals accumulate in animal fat, the link between fat and breast cancer may be related to the fat itself or to chemicals in the fat. One recent study showed a possible link between breast cancer and the dry-cleaning solvent perchloroethylene.

Leukemia: Exposure to radiation or to benzene and other gasoline-related chemicals is known to cause leukemia. Other factors that have been associated with the disease in some studies include exposure to pesticides and to electromagnetic fields -- radiation emitted by power lines and other electrical sources.

Lung cancer: Use of tobacco is a primary cause of lung cancer. Other known causes include asbestos, diesel exhaust, and other chemicals that are products of combustion.

Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma: People with weaker immune systems due to HIV, the Epstein-Barr virus, or inherited immune deficiency disorder are at higher risk of developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Studies have found that people who work with pesticides or live in areas of pesticide use or drift have an increased risk.

Prostate cancer: Many studies show small but significant correlations between prostate cancer and jobs involving exposure to pesticides and herbicides.

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TED BARKER wrote on January 1, 2009


Korean Veterans Mortality Study Consultative Committee and Ex-Service Organisation Representatives

On 20th November 1997, a letter was received by President of Korea Veterans Tasmania from Major General Paul Stevens, Repatriation Commissioner in Canberra.

The Minister for Veterans Affairs  Mr Bruce Scott announced that the Department of Veteran Affairs would be undertaking a Mortality Study of Korea Veterans, also compilation of Interim Nominal Roll of those who served in Korea.

This would lead to establishment of a Consultative Committee which would provide advice on Study Protocol, Review Progress of this Study and provide advice on the Final Report.

The Commissioner was asked to chair this Committee and asked President Wally Sutherland to nominate a Tasmanian Representative for Inaugural Meeting early in the year 1998 (attached are the names of that body).

This Committee has been a very vigorous and well informed group of Korea Veterans, and, in close liaison with D.V.A. Staff Members, speedily had a preliminary Nominal Roll of all Australian Veterans of Korea War produced, much of this taxing task of compiling records of all Services being unravelled by DVAs Bill Maxwell and Denis Murphy.
During the course of these meetings, and the fact that it was becoming more obvious of the many chemicals Toxins-DDT, Haemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome, smoking and alcohol abuse, living conditions and cold effects to those on land, there was also Asbestos, DDT, Lead paint, Chemical and Environmental exposures that should be accepted within the Repatriation System also for all Services.
At this stage it was deemed necessary to appoint a Study Advisory Committee of Medical Members consisting of Professor Kincaid-Smith, Chair; Professor Moore, Toxicologist; Professor McNeil, Epidemiologist.

The Study Advisory Committee was invited to a meeting of the Korea Veterans Mortality Study Consultative Committee on 27th July 1999 to interact on conditions in Korea. During this meeting the following exposures were made  D.D.T., Exposure to Mud and Rain, Lead Paint, Shipboard Living Conditions, Jury Rigged Heating of Ships in cold weather, Tuberculosis, Haemorrhagic Fever, Contemporary Medical Treatments, Hexamine, Infantry Loads and Lead in tinned ration cans.

The Committee discussed research material provided to it which contained not only details of exposure to Environmental, Chemical, and other factors, but also advocacy that as a result of these exposures, certain conditions and factors leading to conditions should be accepted within the Repatriation Act.
This Meeting was advised of -

amendment to the Statement of Principles (SoP) on Diabetes Mellitus to include exposure to Dioxin as a factor

Amendment to SoP on Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma to include Exposure to Dioxin as a factor.
This will be upgraded., as more information on the requested study combines both Health and Mortality, to be conducted together as every State requests of the Minister.


TED BARKER wrote on January 1, 2009



Korean Veterans' Mortality Study Consultative Committee and Ex-Service Organisation Representatives

The First report "Cancer Incidence Study 2003" Australian Veterans of the Korean War" was released on 2 December 2003.

The second report "Mortality Study 2003 Australian Veterans of the Korean War" followed on 18 March 2004.

The initial requirement to create a comprehensive study Roll of all veterans of the Korean War allowed the creation of The Commonwealth roll for all Australian Veterans of the Korean War. This major project to honour and commemorate the service of Korean War veterans is now completed.

The official, commemorative nominal roll of the Australian veterans of the Korean War lists all Australian Servicemen who were deployed in Korea between July 1950 and April 1956. The roll is available on the DVA website at www.koreanroll.gov.au

Health Study of Korea Veterans

The Minister for Veterans' Affairs, De-Anne Kelly MP, has announced the final results of a three part study into the health of Australian veterans of the Korea War. Overall, the results of the study showed that surviving Australian Korea War veterans, approximately five decades after the Korea War, are experiencing significant excesses in several measures of psychological ill health, lower life satisfaction and poorer quality of life, and excess medical conditions and hospitalisations compared with a group of similarly aged Australian men who were residing in Australia at the time of the Korea War.

All three reports in the series of health studies are available on the DVA website at www.dva.gov.au

Australian Government Post-Armistice Korean Service Review

The Government has established the review to investigate the appropriate level of recognition of service by Australians in Korea following the armistice in 1953. The Working Party has been asked to report on a range of issues, including the award of campaign and operational medals for that period.

A series of public hearings have been held around Australia where individuals and other groups interested made submissions. The Review team's report was handed to the Minister for Veterans' Affairs, the Hon. De-Anne Kelly MP, on 20th December 2005.

Minister OUTLINES GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO Post-Armistice Korea Service Report

The Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence, the Hon Bruce Billson MP, has today outlined the Governments response to the Defence aspects of the Post-armistice Korean Service Review Report.

Some Australian ex-service personnel have strongly lobbied to have the Australian Service Medal 1945  75 upgraded to the Australian Active Service Medal (AASM) 1945-75 and accompanied by the issue of the Returned from Active Service Badge (RASB).

While acknowledging these efforts, Mr Billson said that after further consultation and careful consideration, the Government has accepted the view of Defence that the service of those in post-armistice Korea was not considered warlike for the purposes of awarding the AASM 1945-75 or RASB.

He reiterated that the end of the combatant phase of the Korean War was defined by the signing of the Armistice on 27 July 1953.

The Armistice was clear and unambiguous in putting in place a complete cessation of hostilities and of all acts of armed force in Korea, Mr Billson said.

Although the Working Partys findings recommended the establishment and awarding of a General Service Medal (GSM) and RASB, only one Australian military service medal is awarded to recognise a single type of service in such circumstances. The ASM 1945-75 with Clasp KOREA has been duly awarded for this service, he said.

In line with this policy, the award of the RASB is inconsistent with the awarding of the ASM, as the RASB is only awarded for warlike service.

Mr Billson said the medal systems rule-making is already subject to intense scrutiny up to the highest levels of government.

In particular, I have great faith in the existing Interdepartmental Committee (IDC) and its ability to appropriately advise the Government on matters relating to Defence Honours and Awards, he said.

The Post-armistice Korean Service Review identified the names of 18 Australians who died after the cessation of hostilities.

Mr Billson is examining possible options for commemorating those who died while serving our country in post-armistice Korea, in an appropriate way.

Further information, including the text of the Post-Armistice Korean Service Review, can be found at http://www.defence.gov.au/dpe/dpe_site/honours_awards/korea.htm

Media information: Cameron Hill (Mr Billson) 03 9781 2333 0408 239 521

Defence Media Liaison 02 6265 3343 0408 498 664


TED BARKER wrote on January 1, 2009



Pesticides and Herbicides

A pesticide is a chemical that kills pests; a herbicide kills unwanted plants such as weeds.

Each year, in the United States alone, crop loss due to pests and disease amount to about US$15 billion. No wonder that farmers have to use pesticides and herbicides to protect their crops. Otherwise,

it is thought that it would be impossible to remain in the farming business.

Pests cause not only crop damage, but are also responsible for diseases. Fleas and rats for example cause bubonic plague; mosquitoes carry the vectors that cause malaria, dengue fever and yellow fever. The human cost due to diseases is impossible to calculate.


Perhaps the most well known pesticide is DDT (1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenylethane). While it has been credited with saving 25 million lives, DDT has caused problems through its deleterious effects on its non-target organisms, human beings, animals and plants. One well-known example involves the role played by DDT in calcium metabolism in birds. Female birds affected by DDT that had accumulated in their bodies produced egg shells that were thin and easily broken. Seabird populations reached alarmingly low levels because of this. In another example, DDT has been implicated in causing breast cancer in female humans. Read more about DDT here. The book Silent Spring by Rachel Carson brought worldwide attention to DDT and the undesirable consequences of its use, although some would argue it focussed too much on emotive issues.

DDT is a broad-spectrum pesticide, a major reason for its undesirable effects because it affects many plant and animal species. In the past decades, scientists have begun to develop narrow-spectrum pesticides so that the specificity of these chemicals ensure they affect more effectively their target organisms. Early examples of these include the organophosphorus pesticides such as malathion, parathion, ethyl parathion, methyl parathion, diazinon, chlorpyrifos, etc. To be sure, some of these are more toxic to humans than DDT, but they degrade relatively much faster than DDT. The main problem with DDT is that it is persistent and stays around in the environment for a long, long time. For example, more than 25 years after it was banned in some parts of the world, it is still being detected in sediments and the tissues of some animal species.

Another group of narrow-spectrum pesticides are the carbamates. Carbaryl, aldicarb and carbofuran are examples of this group of pesticides. They break down quite rapidly in the environment, thus preventing their accumulation. One very serious drawback of carbamate pesticides is that one of them, carbaryl, kills honey bees, which by no stretch of the imagination can be considered as a pest.

Other examples of pesticides include lindane and endrin and derivatives of pyrethrin (natural insecticides from the pyrethrum plant found in Africa). The neem tree (India) and the pandan plant (Southeast Asia) also contain natural insecticides.

Work To Do: Find out how pesticides work (what are their mechanisms of action?)


Herbicides can also be broad- or narrow-spectrum. Glyphosphate, the active component in commercial the herbicides Kleenup and Roundup, is an example of the former  it kills virtually any plant it comes into contact with.

2,4-D (2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid) is one example of a herbicide; it works against newly-emerging broad-leaved plants. Related to 2,4-D is the infamous 2,4,5-T which contains an extra chlorine atom. It is effective against woody plants and causes defoliation. During the Vietnam War, the US used 2,4,5-T to defoliate large tracts of forests in order to deny cover to North Vietnamese troops and Vietcong guerrillas. Unfortunately, 2,4,5-T was often contaminated with dioxins, generally considered to be an extremely toxic chemical, during the production process. To this day, there are children being born in Vietnam who suffer from birth deformities and illnesses that some say can be attributed to exposure to 2,4,5-T/dioxin. American soldiers who served in Vietnam have also suffered illnesses and other ailments due to exposure to this defoliant. In 1985, the US Environmental Protection Agency banned the use of 2,4,5-T. 2,4-T is still allowed, however. Theres also the problem of endocrine disrupting properties.

What are endocrine disruptors (hormonally active agents)? Find out from
Environmental Oestrogens and Other Hormones
Hormonallly Active Agents in the Environment

Other herbicides include atrazine, monuron, allicochlor and benefin. Many herbicides are less toxic than insecticides, some are even less toxic than aspirin!

Work To Do: Find out how herbicides work (what are their mechanisms of action?)

Find out more

Back to Agrichemistry - Growing Food


GARY HITZLER wrote on December 22, 2008


I was at Camp Howze from 2/76 - 2/77 working at 3rd BDE S2. I now suffer from Diabetes and sleep apnea and will file a claim (mos tik) with the VA. I traveled all along the DMZ at 13 different radar sites, and I too was amazed at the lack of vegetation and attributed it to the war. But hell, the war was 25 years over. A tree can grow to maturity in that time. Think about this... All that shit that was sprayed went into the ground and water tables. We go into the ville and snack on fried potatoes and onion rings. Vegetables that are grown underneath the ground. My buddy who served with me now has a severe nerve and muscle disorder. Something is very wrong and the gov't won't admit it.


JAYHEW M SQUIRES JR wrote on November 3, 2008


I was in Camp Pelam Korea 1976 to 1977- 2nd Bn 17th Field Arty. 2nd Infantry Division- I now have Type 2 Diabetes, Sleep Apnea, Nerve damage to my feet, a tremor in my hands was on the DMZ with the Kutuza's for six months of my time there, am also trying to locate someone who might know about a mission I was on that never took place according to the military, where I was hospitalized for three weeks in Seoul, after being ambushed and left for dead after I recovered from the double pneumonia and came out of the coma was then sent back to my unit with torn ligaments in my hip, leg and ankle, there they put a cast on me, and we were sent back out with me still in a cast and we had to take the cast off while in the air, so I could run if I needed to my leg wasn't healed and have had trouble with it ever since. I'm trying to get service connected disability, If you know about these things I would appreciate a Statement for Veteran Affairs to help my case. Thank you


CLEO HARDY wrote on June 11, 2006


I know the gov. said 1968/69, I belive they used it before that date. I have been told by others that they experimented with it before they used it in Nam. I was in Korea and the DMZ 1965/66, at that time you didn't see any green grass or trees, everything was dead. No new growth of plants at all, and being a dumb kid at the time I thought it was because of the war, boy was I stupid. I have had skin cancer, not the kind you get from too much sun. Now I am totaly disabled because of Peripheral Neuropathy the kind you get from agent orange. Is Uncle Sam telling us the truth, I have filed about 3 months ago and haven't heard nothing other than they are looking at it. Is there any other info that you may have to help out on this??


VERNON W. BURNS wrote on May 25, 2006




GI PALACIOS wrote on May 25, 2006


I served in s korea from 10/05/65 to 10/30/66. I was with
C BRTY 1ST BN79th arty station at charley block camp paine. After I messed up my hearing I was transfered to the forward observers section and made frequent observation journeys to the dmz. One time on a night field exercise as forward observer for rok, turkey and our
u s army soldiers we were expose to a gray smoke for hours till daylight that left a bitter taste in our mouth. Our lt. Selick quickly inquired if the gray smoke chemical was dangerous since we did NOT have gas masks and we were told not to worry that the chemical that was being sprayed was only to kill weeds. I remember for weeks after that I would itch all over. I went to the camp medic and he could not find anything and all he provided was a cream. Afterward I developed all kinds of symtoms, dizzyness, sweating, forgetness and trouble expressing myself till this present time, plus now suffer from MENIERES diease, vertigo, diabities, assesory spleen, and recurrent prostate problems. I filed several claims with the VA and was told on 12/09/94 that my claim was denied since the u s army did not spray agent orange till 1968. Note I believe the gray smoke I mentioned was actually being SPRAYED by rok soldiers and not our troops.


WAYNE MACKENZIE wrote on July 25, 2005


I was stationed in Korea during 1866-1967 on the DMZ. On one field operation my artillery unit was sprayed with a substance from overhead. We were told it was to kill foulage and would not harm us. Now I suffer from type two diabetes. Three years ago they accepted my claim now they are taking it away saying they made a mistake in my claim. The big mistake they made is making us suffer from agent orange and now won't admit there mistake.


JACK PICCIOLO wrote on February 17, 2005


Is 1968-69 the only years the Army accepts in Agent
Orange claims?
I have a vet who served with HHB 7/17th FA in Korea
in 1967 and is trying to process a claim.
I would appreciate any informations on the DMZ and
Agent Orange.
Jack Picciolo


E MYERS wrote on June 18, 2004


with b troop 9cav apr 1964 mar 1965 d m z [ recon


PATRICK O'DONOVAN wrote on April 22, 2004


I was also at Camp Kaiser from April 1969-1971, C troop 2nd/10th CAV.,they were spraying along the DMZ if you went on rotations to the Z, need to get history of your unit from the time you were there. check with NARA. Or check this address.
Department of the Army
Freedom of information and privacy acts office
7798 cissna road
Springfield Va. 22153-3166

they should give you info on your units
hope this helps


KRISTI DINE ALGUIRE wrote on April 21, 2004


My dad, Robert(Bob) Dine was in Korea from June 1960 to June 1961 as a CBR instructor for 1st Cav Hq. Chemical Section. He tells a story of mixing chemicals with molasses and spraying it from helicopters to see how it stuck to the ground. I have a letter of commendation from Major George W. Connell thanking him for his service in making "technical computations for the completion of radiological fallout predictions, contamination plots, and briefings." I think he was getting things ready for Vietnam. My father now suffers from severe dementia, a bleeding disorder in his brain, type 2 diabetes, skin cancer, and bladder cancer, among other things. The VA wants me to get a letter proving he had contact with chemicals to support his claim. Can anyone help me???


MICHAEL (MIKE) CAPARCO JR. wrote on August 8, 2003




DONALD H. (DON) PERKISON wrote on July 30, 2003


Dallas VA seemed to accept my word when told in country from July 69 to Aug 70.

sorry took me so long to get back

Ask your county VA officer they have access to that info.


DONALD H. (DON) PERKISON wrote on July 10, 2003


Agent Orange was used in places 1968-1969 according to report by David Benbow in VFW Feb 2000 Magazine. This is an accepted Fact by the VA.