During their active line of duty, veterans can come into contact with one of the most hazardous chemicals. These exposures can eventually lead to permanent disabilities that affect how they live even after service.
One of the chemicals that achieved notoriety due to its harmful effects is Agent Orange, infamous for causing various illnesses and severe health problems.
The veteran’s affair offers VA disability compensation for those who may have had some form of exposure to Agent Orange. J4V can lend a helping hand in filing a VA claim if you think you have symptoms of Agent Orange. You can go to our page to know more about how we can help with VA claim assistance.
But to understand your eligibility, let us first explore what Agent Orange is and its symptoms in today’s blog post.
What is Agent Orange?
So, what is Agent Orange? The U.S. military used Agent Orange, a toxicant, primarily for military operations to clear leaves and vegetation. It is a chemical used primarily during the Vietnam War. Hence sometimes giving it the name “Vietnamese Agent Orange” to describe the Agent Orange victims and its long-lasting and devastating effects on the people of Vietnam and U.S. soldiers.
Agent Orange Symptoms
Agent Orange’s effects cause different symptoms that vary, especially in severity, which cause several diseases and health-related issues.
- Face acne and blackheads
- Frequent Infections
- Numbness or tingling sensation in your hands and feet
- Shortness of breath (Difficulty breathing)
- Edema (swelling of the feet and legs)
- Shaking of muscles while at rest
- Abdominal pain
Agent Orange and Secondary Conditions: How Exposure Can Lead to Other Illnesses
The VA are well-aware of the conditions that may be present for veterans who are exposed to the hazardous chemicals of Agent Orange. Most of the conditions that may be present for a veteran on a qualifying military service are regarded as presumptive diseases, most of these are cancerous. Here are the conditions and how exposure can lead to other illnesses:
It is a skin condition that may appear to be a normal form of acne in teenagers. It is one of the symptoms of Agent Orange that can be difficult to distinguish; however, it is one of the well-known skin conditions that is directly linked to Agent Orange.
One of its symptoms that can be directly associated with Agent Orange is the numbness or tingling sensation in your hands and feet, which is a result of damage to the nervous system.
Cancers of the bronchus, larynx, trachea, and lungs These are the conditions that are evident in one of Agent Orange’s symptoms, which is shortness of breath.
Its symptoms are slow movements, speech issues, stiffness and shaking of muscles even while at rest.
It is a rare disease that occurs when amyloid proteins are deposited into tissues and organs. It is not a usual illness and therefore regarded as a presumptive condition that is the result of direct side effects from Agent Orange.
A rare form of cancer that affects the bladder, where urine is stored, it takes place when specific cells in the tissue lining your bladder mutate or alter, often the result of direct exposure to Agent Orange. It turns into aberrant cells that proliferate and result in bladder tumors.
Cancer in the prostate, which directly affects male veterans.
Enlargement of the lymph nodes, liver, and spleen is one of the two types of common cancers in the lymphatic system.
One of the two types of cancer under the lymphatic system. One of its conditions is the painless swelling of lymph nodes in the neck.
Chronic B-cell Leukemia
It is a cancer that directly affects the white blood cells, which attack the body’s immune system.
Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
Diabetes is a disease that alters the body’s blood sugar for energy. Type 2 diabetes is a condition where the body does not produce sufficient insulin, or somehow the body’s cells ignore the insulin.
Porphyria Cutanea Tarda
A condition that is known for its liver dysfunction and the thinning and blistering of the skin in areas where the sun may be exposed. Usually appears one year after a direct exposure to Agent Orange.
History of Agent Orange
U.S. soldiers that served in the Vietnam War from 1961 to 1971 were involved in an aggressive chemical warfare program wherein U.S. service members released various herbicides over the farms and forest areas of Vietnam. This U.S. military operation is called Operation Ranch Hand, or Operation Trail Dust.
Its casualties affected native civilians of South Vietnam and had a significant effect on their crops and water source.
Eventually, it was regarded as one of the most harmful chemicals during the Vietnam War, which caused substantial health problems for the Vietnamese population and the returning American soldiers and their families.
How VA determines compensation for Agent Orange-related conditions
The VA agreed to the conditions that are present when a soldier comes into direct contact with Agent Orange. The VA acknowledges various illnesses that are the result of exposure to Agent Orange, employing a presumptive diagnosis, especially if the veteran served in these areas:
- C123 Aircraft
- Korean Demilitarized Zones
- Thailand’s Military Bases
- Served at herbicide test locations and storage outside Vietnam
If a veteran ever works in these areas, then their conditions are presumed, and the VA will no longer require additional proof of their disability.
Finding Help with Your Agent Orange Claim
We at J4V are on a mission to help veterans achieve their maximum VA rating. If you need further help claiming your VA disability compensation, you can email us at [email protected] or book a strategy call. You may also visit our service page to learn more.