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Air Force aircraft returned from Vietnam is postwar source of Agent Orange contamination
Date:2/25/2014

samples collected from aircraft used in Operation Ranch Hand. They compared estimates with available guidelines and standards and discuss the implications with respect to current Air Force and VA policies.

These models suggest that the potential for dioxin exposure to personnel working in the aircraft post-Vietnam is greater than previously believed and that inhalation, ingestion, and skin absorption were likely to have occurred during post-Vietnam use of the aircraft by aircrew and maintenance staff. The estimated dermal and oral exposure exceeded US standards. The estimated airborne contamination exceeded the only available (German) standard.

Dr. Stellman and her co-authors Drs. Fred Berman, DVM, PhD, director of Toxicology at Oregon Health Sciences University and Richard Clapp, professor emeritus, Boston University School of Public Health had previously consulted with the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee on the unresolved issues of Agent Orange exposures in the aircrew. They teamed up with Dr. Lurker to develop the models to clarify the issue.

"Our findings, the results of three different modeling approaches, contrast with Air Force and VA conclusions and policies," concludes Dr. Stellman. "The VA concept of a "dried residue" that is biologically unavailable is not consistent with widely accepted theories of the behavior of surface residues. Aircraft occupants would have been exposed to airborne dioxin-contaminated dust as well as come into direct skin contact, and our models show that the level of exposure is likely to have exceeded several available exposure guidelines."


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Contact: Stephanie Berger
sb2247@columbia.edu
212-305-4372
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

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