Agent Orange contains the chemical dioxin, which veterans have maintained harmed their health, including conditions which have been passed on to their children.
The study found that the Army Chemical Corps who directly handled Agent Orange had a higher rate of hypertension than those who did not. But corps members who served in Vietnam, even if they did not handle the chemicals directly, were also affected.
“The study released last week found the prevalence of hypertension among members of the Army Chemical Corps to be higher than among other aging veterans. Although most of the Agent Orange used in Vietnam was sprayed from Air Force planes, the Army Chemical Corps also sprayed the herbicide from hand sprayers and helicopters,” Stars and Stripes reported.
A working group has been studying whether other illnesses should be added to the automatic-compensation eligibility list for Vietnam veterans. The VA was expected to announce their judgment about expanding eligibility this year, but that decision will now be left for the administration of Donald Trump.
“For this administration, the deadline for proposing new rules for potential new presumptions [of service connection to herbicide] has passed, and this will become work for the new administration to take to completion,” VA officials said in a written statement last week.