Top 10 Things To Know About Agent Orange
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) there are a few very important issues veterans must know about Agent Orange. Listed below are the top 10 issues veterans must know and understand about Agent Orange.
1. Agent Orange was a herbicide and defoliant used in Vietnam and other parts of Southeast Asia.
- More than 19 million gallons of various "rainbow" herbicide combinations were sprayed, but Agent Orange was the combination the U.S. military used most often. The name "Agent Orange" came from the orange identifying stripe used on the 55-gallon drums in which it was stored.
- Heavily sprayed areas included forests near the demarcation zone, forests at the junction of the borders of Cambodia, Laos, and South Vietnam, and mangroves on the southern most peninsula of Vietnam and along shipping channels southeast of Saigon.
2. Any Veteran who served anywhere in Vietnam during the war is presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange.
- For the purposes of VA compensation benefits, Veterans who served anywhere in Vietnam between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975, are presumed to have been exposed to herbicides, as specified in the Agent Orange Act of 1991.
- These Veterans do not need to show that they were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides in order to qualify for disability compensation for diseases related to Agent Orange exposure.
- Military service in Vietnam means service on land in Vietnam or on the inland waterways ("brown water" Navy veterans) of Vietnam.
3. VA has linked several diseases and health conditions related to Agent Orange exposure.
- VA has recognized certain cancers and other health problems as presumptive diseases associated with exposure to Agent Orange or other herbicides during military service. Veterans and their survivors may be eligible for compensation benefits.
4. Veterans who want to be considered for disability compensation must file a claim.