Toxic Exposure & Agent Orange Initiatives

AO TownHall Feathers

If you are interested in having a Town Hall Meeting in your area please contact the WSC Agent Orange Chairperson, Mike Demske at or by telephone at 920-684-1624.

Learn more of Mike Demske’s story in 
just click here.

If you are interested in learning more about Agent Orange and Cancer click here.  Be sure to check the Agent Orange Blog (see Blog tab). 



> Enroll — Enroll in the VA System
Appointments — Make an appointment for Agent Orange Registry and Hepatitis C screening
Records — Get your military records via an accredited Veterans Service Officer.  Make copies and share with your child(ren) and establish plans to pass this information to future generations.  Your families will need your records for future requests.
Talk with your child(ren) and grandchild(ren) — We know how it is difficult to tell them your experiences.  Tell them where you were, what you did, and how you were exposed to toxic chemicals (e.g., Agent Orange, toxins, herbicides, etc.).
Designation — Tell your physician!  If you have an outside physician, have them identify on your records that you are a veteran and you were exposed to toxic chemicals or other agents.


> File a claim —  If you believe tour child(ren) or grandchild(ren) has a health issue that may be linked yo your exposure to toxic chemicals while serving n our nation’s armed forces, file a claim with the assistance of an accredited Veterans Service Officer. 
Expect these claims to be denied.
The importance of the claim, even when denied, is to get the child(ren) and/or grandchild(ren) registered in the VA System.  These claims are filed on VBA Form 21-0304 and are filed in Denver, Colorado —  this is done with the assistance of an accredited Veterans Service Officer.
Your claim does not interfere or delay the veteran
’s claim(s) or add to any backlog.
Identify — Identify on your medical records that you are the son/daughter of a veteran who was exposed to toxic chemicals or other agents.
Medical Records —  Get your medical records and accumulate them as you will need them to fill-out a claim.
Register with “Birth Defects Registry” — Veterans have your child(ren) and/or grandchild(ren) register with the Birth Defect Research for Children (  This registry is an independent registry headed by Betty Mekdeci — 407-895-0802.
Stay Informed — Join our online community…   
   Follow, subscribe, and share through “Faces of Agent Orange” on Facebook
   Go to and for continued information on Toxins and their

Birth nomination on hold in Senate over Agent Orange dispute

June 11, 2015 9:28 am  • 

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two Democratic senators are holding up a confirmation vote on President Barack Obama's nominee for Veterans Affairs' top health post, citing the department's delay in extending disability benefits to Air Force reservists possibly exposed to Agent Orange.

Sens. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Ron Wyden of Oregon said Thursday they will block a vote on Dr. David Shulkin's nomination in the full Senate until the Department of Veterans Affairs provides a fuller update on its efforts to help roughly 1,500 to 2,100 reservists who served from 1972 to 1982 at military bases in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.

Brown, Wyden and five other senators requested such feedback in a letter to the VA in April, with no adequate response to date, they said.

Any senator can anonymously place a hold on a nominee for any reason, preventing a vote.

"These veterans have waited too long to receive the health care and disability benefits they deserve," Brown told The Associated Press. "Dr. Shulkin is extremely qualified, but we can't move forward to confirm an undersecretary for health at the VA until this pressing veterans' health issue is addressed."

Responding in a statement, the VA said it continues to examine policy issues and work with Congress so the reservists might receive benefits. It did not indicate a time frame for a decision.

The department has been mulling a plan to grant a presumption of Agent Orange exposure to reservists who flew or worked on C-123 aircraft, many of which contained residue from the herbicide in the years after the Vietnam War. Such a move would give them easier access to disability benefits.

Since at least 2012, the VA has denied that the reservists could have been exposed to dioxin from dried Agent Orange, but it agreed to reexamine the issue of coverage after an Institute of Medicine report in January concluded many reservists were exposed and suffered higher health risks.

If confirmed, Shulkin, president of the Morristown Medical Center in New Jersey, would fill a key VA undersecretary position, managing a healthcare system responsible for 9 million military veterans in more than 1,700 facilities. His task would include working to improve wait times for medical care following last year's scandal involving long waits at the Phoenix VA medical center.

Dr. Carolyn Clancy, who had been appointed an assistant deputy undersecretary, has been serving as interim undersecretary for health. The previous undersecretary, Dr. Robert Petzel, stepped down in May 2014 in the wake of the Phoenix scandal.

Shulkin's nomination is awaiting final confirmation after a Senate panel approved it Tuesday by voice vote.

Read more:

Latest Congressional Bills related to toxic exposures.

Keep abreast of these bills by going to or by clicking HERE and adding either HR1769 or S901.

H.R.1769 - To establish in the Department of Veterans Affairs a national center for research on the diagnosis and treatment of health conditions of the descendants of veterans exposed to toxic substances during service in the Armed Forces that are related to that exposure, to establish an advisory board on such health conditions, and for other purposes. 114th Congress (2015-2016)

S.901 - A bill to establish in the Department of Veterans Affairs a national center for research on the diagnosis and treatment of health conditions of the descendants of veterans exposed to toxic substances during service in the Armed Forces that are related to that exposure, to establish an advisory board on such health conditions, and for other purposes. 114th Congress (2015-2016) 

Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2010


September 29, 2011

From 1962 to 1971, US military sprayed herbicides over Vietnam to strip the thick jungle canopy that could conceal opposition forces, to destroy crops that those forces might depend on, and to clear tall grasses and bushes from the perimeters of US base camps and outlying fire-support bases. Because of continuing uncertainty about the long-term health effects of the sprayed herbicides on Vietnam veterans, Congress passed the Agent Orange Act of 1991. The legislation directed the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) to request the IOM to perform a comprehensive evaluation of scientific and medical information regarding the health effects of exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides used in Vietnam. Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2010 is the seventh Congressionally mandated biennial update to integrate new biomedical evidence into the findings of the first comprehensive report published in 1994.

Great strides have been made over the last several years in understanding the health effects of exposure to the herbicides used in Vietnam, but there are still many lingering questions. In the 2010 update, the committee recommends that the VA search its own records to look for possible associations between Vietnam service and specific health outcomes, specifically those that are relatively uncommon. The only modification made in this update to disease entries in the categories of association is the notation that early-onset peripheral neuropathy (a condition which has been recognized since Update 1996 as having limited or suggestive evidence of an association with herbicide exposure and must have developed within a year of exposure) is not necessarily transitory. The IOM continues to recommend that laboratory research be conducted to characterize Agent Orange’s potential for inducing epigenetic modifications. Work needs to be undertaken to resolve questions regarding several health outcomes, most importantly COPD, tonsil cancer, melanoma, brain cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and paternally transmitted effects to offspring.

Reports of Interest

Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans and Agent Orange Exposure

Released: May 20, 2011

Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2008

Released: July 24, 2009

Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2006

Released: July 27, 2007

Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2004

Released: March 3, 2005

Veterans and Agent Orange: Length of Presumptive Period for Association...

Released: March 1, 2004

Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2002

Released: January 16, 2003

Veterans and Agent Orange: Herbicide/Dioxin Exposure and Acute Myelogenous ...

Released: February 27, 2002

Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2000

Released: April 19, 2001

Veterans and Agent Orange: Herbicide/Dioxin Exposure and Type 2 Diabetes

Released: October 11, 2000

Agent Orange

Agent Orange doesn’t need much explanation today. With thousands of military veterans exposed, the symptoms, the effects, the diseases are pretty well documented. Second generation effects are now being seen. Children born to veterans exposed to Agent Orange are born with a high possibility of having Spina Bifida. Spina bifida is a birth defect that involves the development of the spinal cord. Veterans who can prove exposure are eligible for government compensation for medical bills.

    “Agent Orange” was the name dubbed the herbicides used to clear the thick jungle foliage because it was stored in big barrels marked with a large orange stripe. Agent Orange was just one of the herbicide combinations used in what was referred to in the military as the Rainbow Herbicides program. There were other blends called Agent White and Agent Blue. But, Agent Orange was the blend most widely used during1961 to 1971 in Vietnam.

Toronto Sun

The United States Military was not the only ones using the Agent Orange mixture. As late as March 16, 2011, the Toronto Sun reported Ministry of Natural Resources Minister Linda Jeffrey announced that world renounce expert, Dr. Leonard Ritter would lead a panel on a fact-finding mission to determine where the deadly toxin, Agent Orange, was used in Ontario and who may have been exposed to it.

    “The revelation that the infamous herbicide had been used starting in the 1950s and possibly as late as 1980 to clear forests and to keep back unwanted vegetation at the sides of highways and in farms has spawned concerns for the health of the workers who applied the chemical and the general public. ”I think there’s probably many (provincial government) ministries that may have used it on their lawns, around the outside of the buildings or any public venue people likely would have used,” Jeffrey said.”

Toxicology Prof To Lead Agent Orange Probe
by By Antonella Artuso, Queen's Park Bureau Chief

There Are No Tests For Agent Orange Exposure

Screening physicals for Agent Orange exposure are given at VA Medical Centers, but the test is nothing more than a general physical. This record is kept on file and can be used to document the onset or progression of symptoms, but the physical itself does not detect Agent Orange exposure.

Sophisticated research tests, not available to everyone, can measure dioxin levels in the blood and fatty tissues. They are not done by the VA, and only a few laboratories in the world are able to do them. They usually cost between $500-$2000.

The National Geographic paid for tests like these to be done on Investigative journalist, David Ewing Duncan.

    Duncan stated:

“Now I'm learning more than I really want to know.”

Duncan was tested for 320 chemicals suspected in the foods we eat, the things we drinking, the air we breathe, the close we wear, and products we put on our hair and skin. The test would also detect chemicals that accumulate in the body, such as DDT and PCBs, heavy metals and dioxins (the unwanted byproduct in Agent Orange); pesticides and plastic and flame retardants. But the tests did not test for ‘chemical cocktails, a mixtures of harmless chemicals, when alone do little harm, but when mixed are toxic.

The results were startling and hard for Duncan to understand. When he showed it to his internalist, he assured him he was healthy and that most Americans, if tested, would show similar results.

The Pollution Within


It is the Dioxins that we are concerned about here. Dioxins are by-products of various industrial processes not just in the herbicidal compound found Agent Orange.

According to the Agency of Toxic Substances & Disease Registry:

Dioxins are not intentionally produced and have no known use. They are the by-products of various industrial processes (i.e., bleaching paper pulp, and chemical and pesticide manufacture) and combustion activities (i.e., burning household trash, forest fires, and waste incineration). The defoliant Agent Orange, used during the Vietnam War, contained dioxins. Dioxins are found at low levels throughout the world in air, soil, water, sediment, and in foods such as meats, dairy, fish, and shellfish. The highest levels of dioxins are usually found in soil, sediment, and in the fatty tissues of animals. Much lower levels are found in air and water.

Dioxins Can Be Passed On To The Unborn

Dioxins can be passed on to the unborn child from a toxic mother.

The online Wikipedia prints that low levels of dioxins can also be problematic. In developing animals and children, more cleff palates, problems with tooth development, sexual development and endocrine development have been well documented. Adults experience liver damage and diabetes.


Even if you are not a Vietnam Vet, you should consider the symptoms below:

  • Nervous system conditions that causes numbness, tingling, and motor weakness

Abnormal protein, (amyloid) in tissues or organs

Chemical sensitivity causing an acne-like condition on the skin

Uncharacteristic blistering of the skin with sun exposure

Most all kinds of cancers, including cancer which affects white blood cells Hodgkin’s Disease and Non Hodgkins Lymphoma, cancers associated with the lymph system, liver, spleen and progressive anemia

Type II diabetes and high blood sugar levels which does not respond insulin.

Parkinson’s Disease, a nervous system disorder that affects the muscles

Chest pains caused by reduced blood supply

Liver damage

Public Health Virginia

What To Do If You Suspect Dioxin / Agent Orange Contamination

Until recently, when Dioxin poisoning has occurred, there was little to be done.

Sufferers have found only marginal relief through alternative, nutritional or medical avenues. Getting the dioxins out of the body has been a near impossible job ...until now.

    The natural compound zeolite has been used by many Vietnam Vets to relieve their Agent Orange symptoms.

Others have used is high doses of injectable methylcobalamin, a form of Vitamin B-12.

Most other treatments consist of treating the conditions caused by Agent Orange contamination.

  • The most effective treatment seems to be a combination of zeolite, nutritional, alternative and medical solutions. By doing this, Agent Orange contamination can be alleviated and many Vet find they can become largely drug free. The micronized zeolite seems to be the missing key.

Cold War Nuclear Disaster Clean-up Success

In the Cold War days of 1986,Clinoptilolite one type of zeolite, was used to clean up the nuclear disaster surrounding Three Mile Island in the Ukraine. The Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploited and released at least 5% of its neclear radiation. 30 Chernobyl plant workers died from radiation exposure.

The clean up efforts consisted of:

  • Over 500,000 tons of Clinoptilolite zeolite was dropped into the reactor to absorb radioactive contaminants.

Cattle were fed zeolite to help keep radioactive ions out of milk.

Zeolite "cookies" were baked for children to help reduce radioactive absorption.

12 year latter, In 1998, the National Academy of Sciences published a paper titled "La Roca Magica: Uses of Natural Zeolites in Agriculture and Industry in which this fact were published:

Tests taken on plants grown in Cesium and Strontium contaminated soil resulted in NO uptake of either contaminants.

To see the full paper, and go to the section titled Nuclear Waste and Fallout.

Military Casualities of War ARE NOT Always on the Battlefield.  TODAY, Agent Orange and Cancer: Treatment SOS, Thursday, September 26, 2013, 2:00 P.M. EST

Military Casualties of War ARE NOT Always on the Battlefield. TODAY, Agent Orange and Cancer: Treatment SOS, Thurs., Sep. 26th, 2:00 pm ET, 11:00 am PT, Guest: James Mullarkey, Director at National Biennial Symposium for Veterans and Secretary of VVA Wisconsin State Council.  Jim is focused on the health of veterans, including the “invisible injuries of war” (TBI and PTSD). However, for this show we’re going to talk about the issues associated with dioxins, specifically Agent Orange (AO) on the veterans of our country. 18,000,000 gallons of poisonous chemical herbicides were sprayed over 6 million acres of forest and croplands in South Vietnam (an area the size of Massachusetts). What did this do to our veterans? Since I grew up near several large military bases, I have spent time there counseling with grieving family members of loved ones who developed cancer due to their exposure to these toxic substances while they were serving our country. Jim will discuss the impact on not just this generation, but future generations. Dr. Peter Hofland from Onco’Zine will also join us later in the program to discuss recent studies related to Agent Orange and Prostate Cancer (Click here abstracts on some recent research.). Rebroadcast, Sat., Sept. 28th at 5:00 pm ET, 2:00 pm PT,

1-agent orange vet

AO Townhall Meeting Poster-1 copy

If you would like the above graphic click here and recieve a .jpg file.

After you download the graphic you can print the file to make an 8.5" x 11" flier. 

500 thumb

Vietnam Veterans of America and the Wisconsin State Council

Agent Orange Townhall Meeting

October 26, 2013
Two Sessions: Morning: 9:00 A.M. - Noon   |   Afternoon: 1:00 P.M. - 4:00 P.M.

Johnson Creek Community Center
417 Union Street
Johnson Creek, Wisconsin

Click here for directions.

More to come!

PTSD May Raise Risk of Heart Disease!
Click here to learn more.

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