Veterans and Agent Orange: 11th Biennial Update

Type: Consensus Study
Topics: Diseases, Environmental Health, Military and Veterans Health
Boards: Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice, Board on Health Sciences Policy

Activity Description

This report is the final of the Veterans and Agent Orange series, which was required by Public Law 102-4, The Agent Orange Act of 1991, and extended by Public Law 107-103. The Secretary of Veterans Affairs was directed to contract with the National Academies to biennially conduct a comprehensive review of scientific and medical literature on health effects from exposure to herbicides used during the Vietnam War. Each update consists of a newly appointed committee to determine, to the extent that scientific data permit, whether there is a statistical association between the specific health outcomes and herbicide use, taking into account the strength of the scientific evidence and the appropriateness of the methods used to detect the association; the increased risk of disease among individuals exposed to herbicides during service in Vietnam; and whether there is a plausible biologic mechanism or other evidence of a causal relationship between herbicide exposure and a disease. This committee has also been asked to specifically focus on three health outcomes: possible generational health effects that may be the result of herbicide exposure among male Vietnam veterans, myeloproliferative neoplasms, and glioblastoma.

As of March 2016, the Health and Medicine Division continues the consensus studies and convening activities previously undertaken by the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

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