Dangers of Agent Orange and Asbestos Exposure
The Department of Veterans Affairs has a list of illnesses caused by harmful conditions while serving, including both Agent Orange and asbestos. Although these are both toxic chemicals that lead to medical conditions, they do not cause the same ones. Agent Orange cancer does not lead to mesothelioma, as only asbestos causes mesothelioma. However, Agent Orange does cause a multitude of other serious diseases.
The military utilized Agent Orange for operations during the Vietnam War and exposure to Agent Orange may have developed related illnesses. Many conditions related to Agent Orange are deadly and require a great amount of treatment and medical attention. Mesothelioma Vets outlines all you need to know about Agent Orange, related illnesses, treatment and facility options, and misconceptions.
What Is Agent Orange?
Agent Orange is a tactical, well-known herbicide the US military used to clear leaves and vegetation for military combat operations. The military used Agent Orange to destroy crops, remove tree cover, and clear vegetation on the perimeter of US bases. The military coined the name “Agent Orange” as there was a large orange stripe identifying the 55-gallon storage drums.
Veterans primarily used the herbicide during the Vietnam War, exposing Veterans and others in the area. People were typically exposed on land or while on the inland “brown” waterways of Vietnam from 1962 to 1971. Additionally, Agent Orange could have exposed Vietnam Veterans during their time at other locations such as Thailand or the Korean Demilitarized Zone. Agent Orange exposure occurs in many ways, making it a dangerous chemical. Exposure to Agent Orange can occur through inhalation, ingestion, and absorption.
What Are the 14 Diseases Associated With Agent Orange?
Agent Orange has varying effects on the body, and the VA has recognized several cancers and other conditions as presumptive diseases associated with Agent Orange exposure. A presumptive condition refers to a disability presumed in Army Veterans caused during their time in service. The VA recognizes 17 diseases affiliated with Agent Orange exposure, including the following.
- AL Amyloidosis
- Bladder Cancer
- Chronic B-cell Leukemia
- Diabetes Mellitus Type 2
- Hodgkin’s Disease
- Ischemic Heart Disease
- Multiple Myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
- Parkison’s Disease
- Peripheral Neuropathy, Early-Onset
- Porphyria Cutanea Tarda
- Prostate Cancer
- Respiratory Cancers (Including Agent Orange Lung Cancer)
- Soft Tissue Sarcomas (Other than Osteosarcoma, Chondrosarcoma, Kaposi’s Sarcoma, or Mesothelioma)
Many respiratory cancers and soft tissue sarcomas related to Agent Orange can be misdiagnosed for similar conditions such as mesothelioma. However, Agent Orange does not cause mesothelioma as only asbestos leads to the development of mesothelioma. Although some people believe that Agent Orange contains asbestos, it does not. Asbestos is another toxic contaminant used by the military associated with presumptive conditions such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis.
Treatment Options for Exposed Veterans
The VA offers health care benefits for Veterans exposed to Agent Orange or other toxic chemicals such as mesothelioma during veteran military service. Services include an Agent Orange Registry health exam and clinical treatments at the VA’s War-Related Illness and Injury Study Center and VA National Oncology Program.
There is no “cure-all” for Agent Orange exposure as the disabilities are widespread. Depending on the Agent Orange presumptive condition, treatment can vary greatly. Veterans should inquire with their medical professionals to determine treatment specific to their illness. Many Agent Orange-related cancers are treated with in cancer centers with typical cancer treatments such as surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Veterans with asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma will also undergo treatments that are cancer-specific.
What Is the Average Compensation For Exposed Veterans?
The VA created an Agent Orange Settlement Fund and received over 105,000 claims. Of those, approximately 52,000 Vietnam Veterans or their survivors received cash payments averaging about $3,800 each. Additionally, the Fund distributed $74 million to 83 social services organizations throughout the United States. However, the District Court ordered the Fund Closed in 1997 as they had fully distributed the funds.
Veterans can receive disability benefits for Agent Orange-related claims by filing for disability compensation and submitting evidence to the VA. Veterans should submit medical records proving the development of Agent Orange cancer and other related illness as well as military records showing exposure during service. If you were a Vietnam Veteran or a survivor of Agent Orange exposure that developed a presumptive medical condition, you could be entitled to legal compensation. The average award for Agent Orange Veterans is $39,000 per year in tax-free VA benefits.
If asbestos exposure occurred throughout your service, you could also be subject to compensation. Receive a case evaluation today by contacting Mesothelioma Vets.