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estimates of statistical association, risk, and biological plausibility. For each disease, determine, to the extent that available data permitted meaningful determinations:

  1. Whether a statistical association with herbicide exposure exists, taking into account the strength of the scientific evidence and the appropriateness of the statistical and epidemiological methods used to detect the association;

  2. The increased risk of the disease among those exposed to herbicides during Vietnam service; and

  3. Whether there is a plausible biological mechanism or other evidence of a causal relationship between herbicide exposure and the disease.

The committee was also asked to address the following specific areas of concern as requested by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA):

  • The relationship between exposure to herbicides and the development of acute and subacute peripheral neuropathy;

  • The relationship between exposure to herbicides and the development of prostate cancer, hepatobiliary cancer, and nasopharyngeal cancer; and

  • The relationship between the length of time since first exposed and the possible risk of cancer development.

1999. Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 1998

Committee to Review the Health Effects in Vietnam Veterans of Exposure to Herbicides (Second Biannual Update)

Statement of Task:

Conduct a second review and evaluation of the newly published scientific evidence regarding associations between diseases and exposure to dioxin and other chemical compounds in herbicides used in Vietnam. For each disease, determine, to the extent that available data permitted meaningful determinations:

  1. Whether a statistical association with herbicide exposure exists, taking into account the strength of the scientific evidence and the appropriateness of the statistical and epidemiologic methods used to detect the association;

  2. The increased risk of the disease among those exposed to herbicides during Vietnam service; and

  3. Whether there is a plausible biological mechanism or other evidence of a causal relationship between herbicide exposure and the disease.

The committee also addressed the following specific areas of interest as identified by VA:

  • The relationship between exposure to herbicides and the subsequent development of diabetes;

  • The issue of the latency between exposure to herbicides and development of adverse health outcomes;

  • The classification of chondrosarcomas of the skull;



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