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E-M:/ Dioxin linked to another disease

Enviro-Mich message from "Paul Hanly" <PNARH@bigpond.com>

For those interested in the Dow Midalnd cleanup.

here is the url:-

Agent Orange can cause leukemia, U.S. experts say

Friday, January 24, 2003
By Maggie Fox, Reuters

WASHINGTON  "Agent Orange," the chemical used to strip Vietnamese and
Cambodian jungles by U.S. forces during the Vietnam war, can cause leukemia,
U.S. health advisers said.

A second look at the evidence supports the idea that people exposed to the
chemical may have a higher risk of chronic lymphocytic leukemia, the
Institute of Medicine panel said. But there is not enough information to say
just how many veterans or herbicide workers may be affected.

The panel, which met Thursday at the request of the Department of Veterans
Affairs, reexamined six separate studies on the possible link between Agent
Orange and CLL.

"The risk for CLL was found to be elevated in those whose occupations
involved handling of or exposure to the types of herbicidal chemicals also
used during the Vietnam War," the committee said in a statement.

The herbicides, which got the nickname "Agent Orange" from the orange stripe
on the barrels in which they were stored, include chemicals with such
tongue-twisting names as 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid and
2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid.

"From 1962 to 1971, U.S. military forces sprayed herbicides over Vietnam to
strip the thick jungle canopy that helped conceal opposition forces, to
destroy crops that enemy forces might depend on, and to clear tall grasses
and bushes from the perimeters of U.S. base camps and outlying fire-support
bases," the Institute report reads.

In an earlier report, an Institute panel had decided the evidence did not
show a link between Agent Orange and leukemia  but the committee said the
earlier examinations looked at all forms of leukemia together.


CLL, which affects an estimated 7,000 Americans a year, is unique among the
leukemias, the panel said.

"CLL shares many traits with Hodgkin's disease and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma,
both of which previously have been found to be associated with herbicide
exposure," the report reads.

"Both CLL and lymphomas originate from malignant B-cells, and CLL can
transform into an aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma known as Richter's
Syndrome." B-cells are immune system cells.

Panel chair Irva Hertz-Picciotto, a professor of epidemiology at the
University of North Carolina and the University of California Davis, said
this was what convinced the group to take a second look.

The panel said no one has an accurate estimate of how many Vietnam veterans
have been diagnosed with CLL.

The Institute, which advises the federal government on medical matters, also
reconfirmed findings that show Agent Orange can cause other cancers such as
non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and soft-tissue sarcoma.

"Also, scientific studies continue to offer limited or suggestive evidence
of an association with other diseases in veterans  including Type 2
diabetes, respiratory cancers, prostate cancer, and multiple myeloma  as
well as the congenital birth defect spina bifida in veterans' children," the
report reads.

Copyright 2003, Reuters
All Rights Reserved

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