Comment by Jim Campbell
There are so many confounding variables in this story it’s going to be very difficult to sort through it for meaningful answers.
Predisposition to cancers, cancer rates rising in the young in the general population. (Source)
Cancer disparities are thought to reflect the interplay of socioeconomic factors, culture, diet, stress, the environment, and biology.
Nighttime bombing using Napalm, Agent Orange.
McClatchey News Service has a more in-depth very comprehensive review that can’t be used. (Source)
The only thing that can be said with certainty, is that the government will drag this out and deny for as long as they can.
Members of minority racial/ethnic groups in the United States are more likely to be poor and medically underserved (that is, to have little or no access to effective health care) than whites, and limited access to quality health care is a major contributor to disparities.
For example, regardless of their racial/ethnic background, the poor and medically underserved are less likely to have recommended cancer screening tests than those who are medically well served.
They are also more likely to be diagnosed with late-stage cancer that might have been treated more effectively if diagnosed earlier.
The higher cancer burden in poor and medically underserved individuals may also reflect different rates of behavioral risk factors for cancer, such as higher rates of tobacco smoking, physical inactivity, obesity, and excessive alcohol intake, and lower rates of breastfeeding.
In addition, individuals who live in poverty may experience higher rates of exposure to environmental risk factors, such as cancer-causing substances in motor vehicle exhaust in dense urban neighborhoods.
Agent Orange from Vietnam, DeJaVu.
Dow Chemical and Monsanto were the two largest producers of Agent Orange for the U.S. military and were named in the suit, along with the dozens of other companies (Diamond Shamrock, Uniroyal, Thompson Chemicals, Hercules, etc.).
The other part of the Settlement Fund, the Class Assistance Program, was intended by the distribution plan to function as a foundation.
Between 1989 and 1996 it distributed, through a series of Requests for Proposal, $74 million to 83 social services organizations throughout the United States.
These agencies, which ranged from disability and Veterans service organizations to community-based not-for-profits, provided counseling, advocacy, medical and case-management services.
During this period, these organizations assisted over 239,000 Vietnam Veterans and their families.
On September 27, 1997, the District Court ordered the Fund closed, its assets having been fully distributed. (Source)
The U.S.Supreme Court ruled on Agent Orange litigation
I am sure that everyone knows about the trouble Vietnam Veterans have had in getting help with the problems caused by Agent Orange.
I hope the following information may be good news for those veterans affected. (Source)
(Part One: Oil Well Fires)
August 11, 2014 | in General, by Hill & Ponton P.A.
A recent study of the residents of Fallujah, Iraq from 2005 to 2009 showed an enormous increase in the incidence of cancers.
Researchers compared the rates of various cancers in the population and compared them to how often an average population would be expected to develop cancer.
Childhood cancers occurred 12.6 times more often than expected.
Leukemia for all ages occurred 22.2 times more often than expected, and in the 0-35-year-old age group, they occurred 38.5 times more often than would be expected. Brain tumors occurred 7.4 times more often than expected, and breast cancers and lymphomas occurred nearly 10 times more than expected.
However, there are many veterans of the Gulf War, the Iraq War, and the Afghanistan war who are developing cancers, and their claims are being denied by the VA.
Let’s take a look at some possible reasons for the higher rates of cancer in both Iraqi civilians and Troops stationed in the region. This article will primarily deal with the chemicals associated with oil well fires and how they can cause or promote cancer in the human body.
During the first Gulf War and the Iraq War, many oil wells were set ablaze.
The result was huge clouds of thick, black toxic smoke, so large that they were easily seen from space.
These fires could burn millions of barrels of crude oil a day, and were extremely difficult to extinguish.
Could exposure to this smoke cause cancer in soldiers?
Oil smoke contains many toxic chemicals, including volatile organic compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, hydrogen sulfide, heavy metals, and particulate matter.
Many of these chemicals are known or probable carcinogens.
Hydrogen Sulfide is listed as a broad-spectrum poison, affecting many systems in the body, but its primary target is the nervous system.
Volatile Organic Compounds are a large group of chemicals, many of which are known carcinogens.
A study of residents of some Indiana counties found that there was a striking correlation between VOCs and cancers of the brain and nervous system, thyroid, and endocrine systems.
Benzene is well-known to be a carcinogen, and many studies have linked benzene exposure to leukemias, lymphomas, aplastic anemia, myelodysplastic syndrome, as well as cancers in the liver, kidney, lung, heart and the brain.
Occupational studies have found that petroleum workers have a five-times greater risk of cancers, and residents of Taiwan who live in areas with heavy petrochemical air pollution (which would likely be much less than direct exposure to oil well fires) also had a significantly elevated risk for cancers.
Crude Oil, when burned, produces so many chemicals that are toxic, that it would be impossible to list them all in great detail.
However, the consensus is that smoke from oil fires is toxic, and can clearly cause cancers.
It seems “more likely than not” that a veteran who was exposed to oil well smoke and developed cancer should be service-connected for that cancer.
It is amazing to some that a veteran exposed to oil well smoke could be denied a claim for service-connection by the VA, but it happens often.
While there are some disabilities that are presumed to be service-connected for Gulf War Veterans, they have yet to include many of these cancers.
Cancer, Chemical Exposure, and Middle East Veterans – Part Two: Burn Pits
January 12, 2015, in Veterans | by Hill & Ponton P.A.
According to Shira Kramer, head of Epidemiology International, the following chemicals as a few of the many toxic and carcinogenic chemicals that are generated from open-air “burn pits:” Benzene, vinyl chloride, dioxins, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, 1,3 butadiene, and methylene chloride. You may recognize some of these chemicals from previous posts.
Veterans who were exposed to jet fuel, as well as burn pits and oil well fires (which likely is a very large number), have been exposed to extremely high levels of benzene, as well as 1,3 butadiene, a carcinogen which can also be found in the smoke of both burn pits and oil well fires.
Vinyl Chloride, a chemical produced by burning plastics such as PVC pipe, is also extremely carcinogenic and causes several forms of cancer, including the rare angiosarcoma.
Most data used to estimate the risk of cancer from burn pit exposure are from studies of firefighters and incinerator workers.
These studies show an increase in several different cancers. One study showed a nearly FIVE times greater incidence in brain cancers among Swedish firefighters, and interestingly, some studies have shown a higher incidence in brain cancers in firefighters under 35 years old.
This may well mean that the majority of soldiers, who are typically under 35, are at an even greater risk.
Other cancers shown to correlate highly with exposure to burn pit-like smoke include testicular cancers and colon cancer.
However, we must remember that burn pits in a war zone likely have much more dangerous emissions than standard household smoke.
The combination of oil well fire, burn pit smoke, and fuel could prove to be a deadly mix for our soldiers, and the data coming in on the citizens of Fallujah are showing a much greater incidence of cancer than the above studies.
Citizens of Fallujah in the 0-35-year-old age group contracted leukemia 38.5 times more often than would be expected.
Brain tumors occurred 7.4 times more often than expected, and breast cancers and lymphomas occurred nearly 10 times more than expected.
It is frightening to think that we may be a few years away from a massive uptick in cancer incidence in our veteran population, but it may be a reality we soon face.
All of the above are relevant to my conclusion is the only winner in this fight will be the attorneys who will gleefully sue in class action lawsuits the bulk of the monies. (Source)
Class action are how they will be handled, they are usually settled out of court with the attorneys getting most of the monies and the plaintiffs getting chump change.
By all means, don’t get into a class-action lawsuit, find a local attorney who specializes in this type of suit.