Link Between Agent Orange, Cancer Confirmed

May 1, 1996
Oncology NEWS International, Oncology NEWS International Vol 5 No 5, Volume 5, Issue 5

WASHINGTON--In an update of its 1994 report, the Institute of Medicine (IOM), of the National Academy of Sciences, has confirmed its original findings of an association between herbicides used in the Vietnam War and various health problems, namely, soft tissue sarcoma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease, and chloracne.

WASHINGTON--In an update of its 1994 report, the Institute ofMedicine (IOM), of the National Academy of Sciences, has confirmedits original findings of an association between herbicides usedin the Vietnam War and various health problems, namely, soft tissuesarcoma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease, and chloracne.

The update also reported limited or suggestive epidemiologicalevidence for three newly discovered associations: a higher rateof spina bifida in children born to Vietnam vets, compared withnon-vets, and a higher incidence of transient peripheral neuropathyand por-phyria cutanea tarda in people exposed to herbicides ordioxin.

Between 1962 and 1970, US soldiers sprayed almost 20 million gallonsof Agent Orange and other defoliants over 3.6 million acres inVietnam. After studies linked Agent Orange to birth defects inlaboratory animals, the use of the chemical was suspended.

IOM committee chair David Tollerud, director of occupational andenvironmental medicine, University of Pittsburgh, said that "westill do not know the precise degree of risk from Agent Orangeexposure for individual Vietnam vet-erans, but the base of researchhas improved."

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