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April 21, 1989

Dioxin Levels in Vietnam Veterans-Reply

Author Affiliations

Centers for Disease Control Atlanta, Ga

Centers for Disease Control Atlanta, Ga

JAMA. 1989;261(15):2201. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420150051027

In Reply. —  The purpose of the Centers for Disease Control study was to attempt to validate an Agent Orange exposure index on the basis of a review of military records of Army ground combat troops. As described in the study, these showed dates and locations served. Therefore, the study did not focus on veterans whose jobs involved handling herbicides, such as those men who had served in the chemical corps or in the Air Force Operation Ranch Hand unit (the sprayers of Agent Orange). Our conclusions, therefore, are stated as applying only to Army ground combat troops. Our focus on the more general veteran was intentional. Congress directed us to study the experience of the majority of troops. We are aware that selected veterans whose jobs involved repeated handling of herbicides may have had greater exposure. To investigate possible health effects of Agent Orange exposure among Ranch Hand veterans,