The long-term health consequences of exposure to phenoxyherbicides used in Vietnam has been a great concern to the veterans. In addition to the Air Force Ranch Hand personnel, Army Chemical Corps personnel who served in Vietnam are thought to have had some of the highest herbicide exposures. The Department of Veterans Affairs commenced a study of veterans who served in Vietnam as members of the Army Chemical Corps and a comparison cohort of Army Chemical Corps personnel who served elsewhere. A total of 2872 Vietnam veterans and 2737 non-Vietnam veterans who served in the Army Chemical Corps were identified for inclusion in a telephone health interview survey with a random 20% sample of veterans receiving serum dioxin and other congeners assessments. In a feasibility study which included 284 Vietnam veterans and 281 non-Vietnam veterans, 100 serum assessments were conducted of which 95 were included in the analysis. Vietnam veterans with a history of spraying herbicides were found to have a statistically significant elevation in their current serum 2,3,7,8-TCDD concentrations compared to non-Vietnam veterans without a spray history (P = 0.05). Other 2,3,7,8-substituted dioxins levels were comparable to the levels found in the non-Vietnam veterans. This feasibility study demonstrated that serum dioxin concentrations from a sample of the study participants can be used to identify exposure variables in the health survey that can serve as a surrogate measure of phenoxyherbicide exposure.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis