bers deserve to know about the testing programs, the exposures, and the potential results of those exposures. For those veterans still living, diseases such as skin and lung cancer may still appear. Treating these cancers with full knowledge of their likely cause should be the responsibility of the VA and may be life-saving; for example, the likelihood of survival from skin cancer is greatly increased by early diagnosis and treatment.
In the case of the human subjects of the WWII testing programs, it is reasonable to assume that the secrecy surrounding the experiments may have kept individuals and entire families from successful resolution and treatment of any adverse psychological effects that may have been caused. Given this possibility and the special problems of ambiguity, health fears, and institutional denials encountered by many of those exposed to these agents, the committee recommends that careful attention be paid by health care providers to the special problems and concerns of the affected veterans and their families. This attention may include the convening of a special task force of experts in stress disorders and risk perception to aid the VA, further than this committee is able, in the establishment of comprehensive guidelines for handling of these cases.
The above recommendations are not meant to ignore the fact that thousands, probably tens of thousands, of other military and civilian personnel were exposed to mustard agents and Lewisite in occupational and training settings, and in combat in the Bari harbor disaster. Some of these exposures will have resulted in one or more of the exposure-related health problems identified in this report. The committee is also aware that some military personnel who served in the Chemical Warfare Service have qualified for service-connected disability as a result of such exposures. However, many more military personnel were exposed to significant levels of mustard agents or Lewisite than is obvious from service records, because of job classifications, inadequate documentation of ''live agent" training and accidents, and other factors. Therefore, the committee additionally recommends that the Department of Defense (DoD) should use all means at its disposal, including public channels, to identify cohorts of chemical warfare production workers (military or civilian) and individuals exposed to mustard agents or Lewisite from gas handling, training, the Bari harbor disaster, or other circumstances. Records of former military personnel could be turned over to the VA for notification, inclusion in morbidity and mortality studies, and health status evaluation. Records of the civilian personnel should be used by the DoD to notify the former workers. These workers should also be advised as to their health risks and options for seeking appropriate compensation for any illnesses that resulted from their exposures.