Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans and Agent Orange Exposure

Type: Consensus Study
Topics: Military and Veterans Health, Environmental Health, Select Populations and Health Equity
Board: Board on the Health of Select Populations

Activity Description

The IOM will conduct a study and prepare a report on whether the Vietnam Veterans in the Blue Water Navy experienced a comparable range of exposures to herbicides and their contaminants (focus on dioxin) as the Brown Water Navy Vietnam Veterans and those on the ground in Vietnam (i.e., specifically with regard to Agent Orange exposure).  The IOM's report is expected to include:

  1. An historical background on:  the Vietnam War; Combat troops (ground troops); Brown Water Navy (includes inland waters); Blue Water Navy; VAO legislation
  2. A discussion of exposures (Blue Water Navy in comparison with ground troops in Vietnam): specifically compare exposures on ground with those on ships (discuss all possible routes of exposure); and examining the range of exposure mechanisms for herbicide exposures (i.e., concentrating toxics in drinking water; air exposure possibly from drift from spraying; food; soil; skin.
  3. A determination, if possible, of the comparative risks for long-term health outcomes comparing Vietnam veteran ground troops, Blue Water Navy veterans, and other "Era" veterans serving during the Vietnam War at other locations (given the possible dioxin exposure).
  4. A review of studies of Blue Water Navy veterans for health outcomes (assuming there are studies specific to that cohort of veterans).

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