Considering the risks of Agent Orange and other military defoliants, several veterans have expressed their worries once they’ve finished their military service in Okinawa city.
The VA keeps denying that there was no presence of Agent Orange dioxin in Okinawa. While the Japanese government doesn’t deny the existence of the barrels, it says that there’s no credible evidence that supports that these tactical herbicides pose a problem for Okinawa veterans. However, an Army report called “An Ecological Assessment of Johnston Atoll” claims that at least 25,000 barrels of this herbicide agent were stored on Okinawa.
While this was the first time that there was a report of AO barrels in Johnston Island, the government entities didn’t explicitly say that the barrels contained Agent Orange, which is why the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs keeps denying that these hazardous chemicals were in those barrels.
According to this report, which collected multiple statements, roughly half of the barrels were made by the Dow Chemical Company, which was one of the most important Agent Orange manufacturers in the U.S. military. Moreover, the barrels were allegedly transported from the Naha Military Port to the Kadena Air Base, which shows how Vietnam veterans were at risk.
Currently, over 250 U.S. veterans state that Agent Orange was present in Okinawa from 1960 to 1970. Moreover, these people have tried to prove a service connection to their illness, including problems with prostate cancer.
In 2014, a discovery pointed out that some experts from Okinawa City and the Okinawa Defense Bureau determined that the key components of Agent Orange were present in a former military dumpsite in Okinawa, particularly 61 barrels that contained the three chemical components of this substance, particularly 2,4-D, 2,4,5-T, and TCDD. According to the Board of Veterans Appeals database, at least 250 fellow veterans have filed claims regarding AO exposure on Okinawa.
While things don’t look particularly good for former service members, there’s also a history of successful claims, such as the October 2015 case of the veteran who was awarded service connection for exposure to Agent Orange.
According to the report, this veteran, who served at Air Force bases in Okinawa, was exposed to 2,4,5-T and 2,4-D and developed prostate cancer as a result. The veteran provided newspaper articles and other research pieces supporting his claims. While the Board granted the veteran the connection, it pointed out that he wasn’t exposed to the herbicide per se.
Some other stories of successful claims include:
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) claims that the TCDD chemical found in AO is a human carcinogen. Although the U.S. government didn’t intend to create such a toxic substance, that decision is currently affecting those who were in active service in Okinawa.
If you or someone you know served in Okinawa military bases during the Vietnam era, there’s a reasonable probability that they were exposed to toxic chemicals after Agent Orange use. Our job at the Agent Orange Foundation is to help US veterans who were exposed to AO or other toxic defoliants by letting them hire the lawyer of their choice.
We can help you support claims regarding the exposure to AO and other tactical herbicides, as well as seek compensation to pay for medical assistance and other areas where you may need financial support.
Feel free to contact us today for more information!
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