It is presumed that nearly all veterans who served during the Vietnam War and were actively stationed in combat areas were exposed to Agent Orange at some point. The herbicide was so widely used that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) designated “Agent Orange presumptive diseases” associated with exposure to the defoliant chemical.
As more Vietnam veterans file veterans disability claims and join the Agent Orange Registry, VA doctors and research teams are learning more about the long-term effects of the deadly herbicide. Recently, researchers found an increased risk for a precursor to multiple myeloma, which is already among the conditions linked to the herbicide.
Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) is a precursor disease to multiple myeloma, a type of cancer that attacks the plasma cells in bone marrow. A study reviewing 958 blood samples of U.S. Air Force personnel found that the personnel involved in Operation Ranch Hand were twice as likely to have developed MGUS than personnel not involved in the aerial spraying missions.
Of the 479 Operation Ranch Hand veterans, the prevalence of MGUS was 7.1 percent, compared to 3.1 percent in the veterans who did not participate in the operation. The cause of MGUS and multiple myeloma is still not largely understood. However, the findings of this and related studies involving farmers and agricultural workers has led researchers to suspect a link between pesticides and these conditions.
Disability Help Group Assists Vietnam Veterans Seeking Disability Benefits
The VA is still learning about new diseases and health conditions related to Agent Orange exposure. If you served during the Vietnam War in any capacity, there is a chance your disabling health conditions could be connected to Agent Orange exposure. Let The Disability Help Group review your military and medical records and help you file a veterans disability claim for benefits. Contact us at 1-(800)-800-3332.