the committee reviewed the literature on the broad category of “solvents,” the classes of solvents, and 53 specific solvents (Appendix D).
Although DOD sent rodenticides to the Persian Gulf, the committee did not review the health effects of rodenticide exposure. Inasmuch as those products were sent to the Persian Gulf in pellet form (Cecchine et al., 2000), exposure would have required ingestion. Because there were no accounts of military personnel consuming rodenticides, the committee did not believe it necessary to review their adverse health effects.
It should be noted, that the charge to IOM was not to determine whether a unique Gulf War syndrome exists or to make judgments regarding whether the veterans were exposed to the putative agents. Nor was the charge to focus on broader issues, such as the potential costs of compensation for veterans or policy regarding such compensation; such decisions are the responsibility of the secretary of veterans affairs. The committee’s charge was to assess the scientific evidence regarding long-term health effects associated with exposure to specific agents that were potentially present during the Gulf War. The secretary may consider the committee’s assessment as a compensation program for Gulf War veterans continues to be developed.
Military personnel in the Gulf War were exposed to insecticides through field or personal use. Most used insecticides to control insects that could serve as vectors for infectious diseases, such as leishmaniasis, sand fly fever, and malaria. In addition to the list of insecticides congressionally mandated for study, the committee learned about insecticide use during the Gulf War from reports from DOD, the Office of the Special Assistant for Gulf War Illnesses (OSAGWI), surveys and self-reports from Gulf War veterans, and RAND (Cecchine et al., 2000; Fricker et al., 2000; OSAGWI, 2001; Spektor et al., 2000).
The specific insecticides and quantities shipped to the Persian Gulf can be documented, but how they were used and the amount each person was exposed to are unknown. Under contract with DOD, RAND conducted interviews with 2005 service members regarding specific insecticides and their use in the Persian Gulf. On the basis of reports of those interviews, the committee added azamethiphos, bendiocarb, and d-phenothrin to the list of insecticides congressionally mandated for study. The entire list of insecticides under review may be found in Appendix D.
According to DOD, most US service members had access primarily to two insecticides: permethrin and DEET. Permethrin was provided in spray cans for treating uniforms, and DEET in liquid or stick form was used as a personal mosquito and fly repellent. According to DOD, US service members were not provided with permethrin-pretreated uniforms. All other insecticides sent to the Gulf War were intended for use only by specifically trained people or for special applications (PAC, 1996). However, some service members reportedly used other, unapproved insecticides obtained on the local market, and pet tick and flea collars apparently were used by some US service members (OSAGWI, 2001).
All insecticides shipped to the Gulf War had been approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or the US Food and Drug Administration for