Showing posts with label B cell leukemias. Show all posts
Showing posts with label B cell leukemias. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Viet Nam Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange May See Aid From New VA Proposal

The Veterans Administration (VA) has proposed a regulation change that will add three new illnesses to the list of health problems linked to the use of Agent Orange and other herbicide exposures during the Vietnam War.

“This is an important step forward for Vietnam veterans suffering from these three illnesses,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “These warriors deserve medical care and compensation for health problems they have incurred.”  He announced the changes this week on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Web site.

The three illnesses to be added to the list of those presumed to be caused by Agent Orange are, B cell leukemias, such as hairy cell leukemia; Parkinson’s disease; and ischemic heart disease.

“We applaud Secretary Shinseki for taking this very important step to finally provide free health care and pay compensation to our Vietnam veterans who were denied the treatment they were rightfully owed,” said Michael Blecker, executive director at Swords to Plowshares.

Swords to Plowshares is a San Francisco community-based nonprofit organization founded in 1974 that provides assistance to veterans in the Bay Area and beyond. “The Obama administration and VA Secretary Shinseki have demonstrated that they understand the urgency it takes to prevent further suffering and premature deaths among our aging Vietnam War veterans with serious, chronic illnesses caused by Agent Orange poisoning,” said Blecker.

From 1962 to 1971, the United States sprayed over 19 million gallons of herbicides for defoliation and crop destruction in Vietnam. These herbicides have been proven to be a human carcinogen and have caused health problems to well beyond the over 100,000 U.S. veterans exposed to the agents. Among U.S. veterans hundreds of thousands have been affected as well as soldiers of U.S. allies in the war.

According to the VA, “Veterans who served in Vietnam anytime during the period beginning Jan. 9, 1962, and ending on May 7, 1975, are presumed to have been exposed to herbicides.”

“In practical terms, veterans who served in Vietnam during the war and who have a “presumed” illness don’t have to prove an association between their illnesses and their military service. This “presumption” simplifies and speeds up the application process for benefits.”

The Department of Veteran Affairs encourages all veterans with these diseases to file claims now so that when the new rule becomes effective they may receive benefits from the date of their filing.

Posted via web from The Newport Beach Lifestyle

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