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Post-Vietnam Dioxin Exposure in Agent Orange-Contaminated C-123 Aircraft (2015)

Chapter: Appendix C: Committee Biographies

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Committee Biographies." Institute of Medicine. 2015. Post-Vietnam Dioxin Exposure in Agent Orange-Contaminated C-123 Aircraft. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18848.
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Appendix C

Committee Biographies

Robert F. Herrick, Sc.D. (Chair), is a senior lecturer on occupational hygiene at the Harvard School of Public Health. His educational background includes a B.A. degree in chemistry from the College of Wooster, an M.S. in Environmental Health Science from the University of Michigan, and a Doctor of Science in Industrial Hygiene from the Harvard School of Public Health. He is certified in the comprehensive practice of industrial hygiene. His research interests are centered on the assessment of exposure as a cause of occupational and environmental disease. He has conducted research on the development of methods to measure the biologically active characteristics of reactive aerosols, and on studies of work processes in the construction and semiconductor industries to develop task-based models to identify and control the primary sources of worker exposures. He has also investigated exposures and biomarkers of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) exposures to workers in PCB-contaminated buildings. Dr. Herrick is Past Chair of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), and Past President of the International Occupational Hygiene Association. Prior to joining the faculty at the Harvard School of Public Health, Dr. Herrick spent 17 years at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) where he conducted occupational health research. Dr. Herrick also previously served on the Institute of Medicine Committee to Review the Health Effects of Vietnam Veterans of Exposure to Herbicides—Second and Third Biennial Updates as well as the Committee for a Review of Evidence Regarding Link between Exposure to Agent Orange and Diabetes.

Robert Canales, Ph.D., M.S., is an assistant professor in the Community, Environment and Policy Division at the Mel & Enid Zuckerman School of Public

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Committee Biographies." Institute of Medicine. 2015. Post-Vietnam Dioxin Exposure in Agent Orange-Contaminated C-123 Aircraft. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18848.
×

Health at the University of Arizona. He received his M.S. in statistics and his Ph.D. in environmental engineering and science from Stanford University and was a post-doctoral fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Canales applies principles in the natural sciences and mathematics to explore environmental health issues, particularly human exposure to environmental contaminants. With a background in environmental engineering, public health, and statistics, his research focuses on creating models/simulations and exploring data to improve human health, and has included a variety of projects: modeling the fate and transport of contaminants in indoor environments, simulating children’s behavior and contaminant intake levels, and distinguishing demographic variables for identifying households with high indoor pesticide concentrations, to name a few.

Kenny S. Crump, Ph.D., is currently serving as an independent consultant, having retired as a principal with Environ Corporation in 2007. He has more than 35 years of experience in assessing risk related to exposure to toxic materials. He has served on science advisory boards of the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Center for Toxicological Research, the Mickey Leland National Urban Air Toxics Research Center, and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. His research interests are in the areas of biostatistics, health risk assessment, and analysis of epidemiological data. Statistical models for assessing risk developed by Dr. Crump have been widely used by regulatory agencies and private groups. These include the Linearized Multistage Model and the benchmark methodology. Dr. Crump has participated in risk assessments of many substances, including asbestos, benzene, manganese, and mercury. He received his Ph.D. in Mathematics from Montana State University, his M.A. in Mathematics from the University of Denver, and his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Louisiana Tech University. He was previously a member of the National Academies Standing Committee on Risk Analysis Issues and Reviews, the Committee on Risk Assessment Methodology, and the Committee on Institutional Means for Assessment of Risks to Public Health.

Melissa Gonzales, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Division of Epidemiology and the University of New Mexico (UNM). She received her Ph.D. in environmental health at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health, and prior to that she earned a masters degree in toxicology/industrial hygiene at the University of Arizona, College of Pharmacy. She joined the Division of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Preventive Medicine at the UNM School of Medicine in 2002. She was recruited from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), where she had been a postdoctoral research fellow in the Epidemiology and Biomarkers Branch of the National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, EPA Office of Research and Development. While at EPA, she was the co-investigator of the El Paso Children’s Health Study, and senior staff to the US chair of the US–Mexico Border 21 Environmental Health

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Committee Biographies." Institute of Medicine. 2015. Post-Vietnam Dioxin Exposure in Agent Orange-Contaminated C-123 Aircraft. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18848.
×

Workgroup. Dr. Gonzales’ research focuses on understanding the contribution of environmental exposures to chronic illnesses such as asthma and cancer. Her work includes the Albuquerque Hispanic Moms Study, the Zuni Exposure Study, the Colorectal Disease Prevention Study and the University of New Mexico–University of Texas El Paso study of asthma and respiratory health among children living on the US–Mexico border (ARCH). Dr. Gonzales is currently the assistant program director for the UNM Preventive Medicine Residency Program, director of the environmental health core in the UNM Health Disparities Research Center, and a founding member of the UNM Metal Exposure Toxicity Assessment on Tribal Lands in the Southwest (METALS) Research Program, where she leads initiatives to reduce exposure uncertainty in risk assessment and prioritization strategies for complex environmental exposures.

John C. Kissel, Ph.D., PE, is professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the University of Washington. Dr. Kissel is an environmental engineer whose research focuses on human exposure to environmental contaminants. He is a former President and Councilor of the International Society of Exposure Science and former chair of the Exposure Assessment Specialty Group of the Society for Risk Analysis. He is also an ad hoc member of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act Science Advisory Panel and served as a member of a National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council committee examining Superfund cleanup of mining wastes in the Coeur d’Alene River Basin of northern Idaho. Dr. Kissel has conducted research funded by EPA, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, the US Department of Energy, and the US Department of Defense via the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program.

Linda A. McCauley, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., F.A.A.O.H.N., is dean and professor at Emory University’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, and Professor in the Department of Environmental Health at the Rollins School of Public Health. Dr. McCauley is a nationally recognized leader in nursing education and is a national leader in research on environmental exposures and health hazards among vulnerable populations, including workers and young children. Dr. McCauley has been awarded research funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US Department of Defense, and the US Department of Veterans Affairs. Her research has resulted in numerous publications, ongoing consultations, leadership on occupational and environmental advisory panels, and testimony to governmental oversight bodies. Dr. McCauley is a fellow of the American Academy of Occupational Health Nurses and the American Academy of Nursing. She is a member of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, the Sigma Theta Tau Honorary Nursing Society, the American Nurses Association, the American Public Health Association, and the Institute of Medicine. She currently

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Committee Biographies." Institute of Medicine. 2015. Post-Vietnam Dioxin Exposure in Agent Orange-Contaminated C-123 Aircraft. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18848.
×

serves on the executive committee as one of the founding leaders for the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action initiative in Georgia. Dr. McCauley received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, her master’s degree in nursing from Emory University, and her Ph.D. in environmental health from the University of Cincinnati.

Clifford P. Weisel, Ph.D., is a professor in the Exposure Science Division of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Medicine of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School/Rutgers University, where he has been of the faculty since 1989. He also holds appointments on the graduate faculty of Environmental Sciences and School of Public Health at Rutgers University. He is the Deputy Director of the Exposure Science Division of the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute and Director of the Doctoral Degree Program in Exposure Sciences. Dr. Weisel research areas include understanding exposure to chemical agents in various modes of transportation including aircraft, multi-route exposures to environmental contaminants and their associated adverse health effects, and the development and application of biomarkers of exposure. He is currently a scientific member of the Federal Aviation Administration Center of Excellence on Airliner Cabin Environment Research. He has examined the relationship among indoor, outdoor and personal exposure to air pollutants; documented the importance of inhalation and dermal exposure to contaminants, and examined exposure and health issues related to disinfection by products, in water. He is the past president of the International Society of Exposure Science and has served on numerous international and national advisory committees, workshops and advisory review panels for the US Environmental Protection Agency, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state governmental agencies, environmental groups, and private industry. He has been an associate editor of the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology. He was awarded the Jerome J. Wesolowski Award in 2013 by the International Society of Exposure Science in recognition of outstanding contributions to the knowledge and practice of human exposure science. Dr. Weisel has authored or co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters and co-authored with Paul Lioy the book Exposure Science: Basic Principles and Applications published in 2014. He previously served on the Institute of Medicine Committee to Review the Health Effects in Vietnam Veterans of Exposure to Herbicides.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Committee Biographies." Institute of Medicine. 2015. Post-Vietnam Dioxin Exposure in Agent Orange-Contaminated C-123 Aircraft. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18848.
×

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Committee Biographies." Institute of Medicine. 2015. Post-Vietnam Dioxin Exposure in Agent Orange-Contaminated C-123 Aircraft. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18848.
×
Page 100
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Committee Biographies." Institute of Medicine. 2015. Post-Vietnam Dioxin Exposure in Agent Orange-Contaminated C-123 Aircraft. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18848.
×
Page 101
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Committee Biographies." Institute of Medicine. 2015. Post-Vietnam Dioxin Exposure in Agent Orange-Contaminated C-123 Aircraft. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18848.
×
Page 102
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Committee Biographies." Institute of Medicine. 2015. Post-Vietnam Dioxin Exposure in Agent Orange-Contaminated C-123 Aircraft. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18848.
×
Page 103
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Committee Biographies." Institute of Medicine. 2015. Post-Vietnam Dioxin Exposure in Agent Orange-Contaminated C-123 Aircraft. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18848.
×
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From 1972 to 1982, approximately 1,500-2,100 US Air Force Reserve personnel trained and worked on C-123 aircraft that had formerly been used to spray herbicides in Vietnam as part of Operation Ranch Hand. After becoming aware that some of the aircraft on which they had worked had previously served this purpose, some of these AF Reservists applied to the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for compensatory coverage under the Agent Orange Act of 1991. The Act provides health care and disability coverage for health conditions that have been deemed presumptively service-related for herbicide exposure during the Vietnam War. The VA denied the applications on the basis that these veterans were ineligible because as non-Vietnam-era veterans or as Vietnam-era veterans without "boots on the ground" service in Vietnam, they were not covered. However, with the knowledge that some air and wipe samples taken between 1979 and 2009 from some of the C-123s used in Operation Ranch Hand showed the presence of agent orange residues, representatives of the C-123 Veterans Association began a concerted effort to reverse VA's position and obtain coverage.

At the request of the VA, Post-Vietnam Dioxin Exposure in Agent Orange-Contaminated C-123 Aircraft evaluates whether or not service in these C-123s could have plausibly resulted in exposures detrimental to the health of these Air Force Reservists. The Institute of Medicine assembled an expert committee to address this question qualitatively, but in a scientific and evidence-based fashion. This report evaluates the reliability of the available information for establishing exposure and addresses and places in context whether any documented residues represent potentially harmful exposure by characterizing the amounts available and the degree to which absorption might be expected. Post-Vietnam Dioxin Exposure rejects the idea that the dioxin residues detected on interior surfaces of the C-123s were immobile and effectively inaccessible to the Reservists as a source of exposure. Accordingly, this report states with confidence that the Air Force Reservists were exposed when working in the Operation Ranch Hand C-123s and so experienced some increase in their risk of a variety of adverse responses.

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