An expert panel reported on Friday that two more diseases may be linked to exposure to Agent Orange, a defoliant used by the American military during the Vietnam War. People exposed to the chemical appear, at least tentatively, to be more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease and ischemic heart disease, according to the report. The report was written by a 14-member committee charged by the Institute of Medicine with determining whether certain medical conditions were caused by exposure to herbicides used to clear stretches of jungle. The results, though not conclusive, are an important first step for veterans groups working to get the government to help pay for treatment of illnesses they believe have roots on the battlefield. Some other conditions linked to Agent Orange already qualify.
By JANIE LORBER
Published: July 24, 2009