Reprinted from Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 1996

Updated Summary of Findings in Occupational, Environmental, and Veterans Studies Regarding the Association Between Specific Health Problems and Exposure to Herbicides by the National Academy of Sciences

The entire document is available from: National Academy of Science. This is only the summary of the herbicide/dioxin related diseases recognized by the NAS.

Note: Herbicides refers to the major herbicides used in Vietnam, i.e., 2,4-D (2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid); 2,4,5-T (2,4,5-trichoropheoxyacetic acid) and its contaminant TCDD (2,3,7,8-tetracholordibenzo-p-dioxin); cacodylic acid; and picloram. The evidence regarding association is drawn from occupational and other studies in which subjects were exposed to a variety of herbicides and herbicide compounds.

Sufficient Evidence of an Association

Evidence is sufficient to conclude that there is a positive association. That is, a positive association has been observed between herbicides and the outcome in studies in which chance, bias, and confounding could be ruled out with reasonable confidence. For example, if several small studies that are free from bias and confounding show an association that is consistent in magnitude and direction, there may be sufficient evidence for an association. there is sufficient evidence between exposure to herbicides and the following health outcomes:

Limited / Suggestive Evidence of an Association

Evidence is suggestive of an association between herbicides and the outcome but is limited because chance, bias, and confounding could not be ruled out with confidence. For example, at least one high-quality study shows a positive association, but the results of other studies are inconsistent. There is limited / suggestive evidence of an association between exposure to herbicides and the following health outcomes:

Inadequate / Insufficient Evidence to Determine Whether an Association Exists

The available studies are of insufficient quality, consistency, or statistical power to permit a conclusion regarding the presence or absence of an association. For example, studies fail to control for confounding, have inadequate exposure assessment, or fail to address latency. There is inadequate or insufficient evidence to determine whether an association exists between exposure to herbicides and the following health outcomes:

Limited / Suggestive Evidence of No Association

Several adequate studies, covering the full range of levels of exposure that human beings are known to encounter, are mutually consistent in not showing a positive association between exposure to herbicides and the outcome at any level of exposure. A conclusion of no association is inevitably limited to available studies. In addition, the possibility of a very small elevation in risk at the levels of exposure studied can never be excluded. There is limited/suggestive evidence of no association between exposure to herbicides and the following health outcomes:

Update: February 19, 2013

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