Possible Sources of Agent Orange Exposure Besides On Vietnam Soil
Agent Orange, a deadly herbicide, was used heavily during the Vietnam War, exposing U.S. troops to its effects. Boots on the ground soldiers are presumed to have been exposed, but veterans may have been exposed elsewhere as well.
Korean Demilitarized ZoneIf you served in the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between April 1, 1968 and August 31, 1971, Agent Orange exposure is presumed if you develop a related disease.
Thailand Military BasesThere were also several military bases in Thailand where Agent Orange was stored and transported and potentially contaminated soldiers. The following veterans should review their condition in regard to the following bases and dates of service:
- U.S. Air Force Veterans: Served on Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) bases at Don Muang, Korat, Nakhon Phanom, Takhli, U-Tapao, Ubon, and Udorn between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975.
- U.S. Army Veterans: Perimeter security on RTAF bases between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975.
- U.S. Army Veterans: Stationed on any of the small Army installations in Thailand anytime between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975 AND a member of a military police (MP) unit or assigned a MP military occupational specialty whose duty placed him/her near the base perimeter.
Blue Water VeteransVeterans who served primarily at sea and on vessels traveling in Vietnam's waters are known as "blue water veterans" and may have been exposed to Agent Orange while in a Vietnam port, or aboard a ship transporting Agent Orange.
The VA has a list of U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships that operated during the Vietnam War and are presumed to have exposed servicemembers to Agent Orange. The dates of service where exposure is suspected must have occurred between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975.
Herbicide Tests and Storage Outside of VietnamAgent Orange exposure was possible even in the United States at factories where the chemical was produced and distributed to overseas locations. Servicemembers and even civilians may have been exposed to Agent Orange if they lived or worked on or near a place that manufactured or transported herbicides. There is an extensive list of locations outside of Vietnam where Agent Orange and other herbicides were stored or tested, dating as far back as 1944 and as recently as 1977.
Residue on Post-Vietnam War AirplanesA soldier who joined the military immediately following the Vietnam War may still run a risk of Agent Orange-related diseases because of herbicide residue on the airplanes used during the war. The C-123 Provider aircraft used to spray Agent Orange often contained residue of Agent Orange and pilots and crew that later occupied these planes are being studied to determine the level of potential exposure they may have endured. The findings are not expected to be available until late 2014 and until then, cases where a veteran claims Agent Orange exposure when they served on a post-war C-123 Provider aircraft will be carefully evaluated to determine if the disabling conditions are truly a result of Agent Orange.