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Iom Ao C 123S Presentation 1-16-2013



It is a PDF hope it attaches....... this might be a biggy.......

ooops too large to load here....

will try something else

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It regards this:

"Any corrections, suggestions welcome, regarding this presentation of the C-123 Agent Orange exposure situation to the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, at the University of California Irvine. Besides the handout whi ch the committee will print and distribute themselves, I will have a DVD for each committee member with all relevant material...now totaling about 2 gb.

I hope all interested C-123 veterans learned yesterday of the expert medical opinion provided by Dr. Arnold Schecter, MD of the University of Texas School of Public Health. Dr. Schecter is perhaps the most published of dioxin experts, and his letter confirmed post-Vietnam service aboard the C-123 led to dioxin exposure at about the same intensity as with ground troops fro the Vietnam War."

I am contacting the IOM presenter for a hyerlink to this presentation........

I got the pdf in email but got error message that the pdf file is too large to attach here....

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Maybe this will work. The PDF has very cool C 123 photos. The date of this presentation (and any comments or modifications is January 16th,2013.






2011-2013 OFFICERS:




January 16, 2013

Institute of Medicine
National Academy of Sciences

Dear Members of the Committee:

Along with 1560 other veterans we bring to the attention of the
Committee our exposure to Agent Orange and other military
herbicides. Agent Orange was sprayed during the Vietnam War
from our modified C-123 transports that we then flew between
1072-1982. About 42% of all our airplanes were former spray
aircraft. In 1982 the C-123 fleet was labeled obsolete and retired to
desert storage.

The problem: USAF and GSA records released in 2011 detailed
the lingering contamination by military herbicides. AF
toxicologists first officially confirmed military herbicide residue in
1979 following complaints from our maintenance personnel. The
problem was better revealed in 1994 in which toxicologists
confirmed our airplanes had been “heavily contaminated” and “a
danger to public health.” The contamination was not theoretical,
but confirmed many more times by Air Force military and civilian
toxicologists, and also described by USAF toxicologists in sworn
testimony in federal court. In 2010, the last C-123s, too
contaminated for landfill, were destroyed as toxic waste except for
a few museum displays.

Aircrews and maintenance personnel fought a terrific stench, later
determined to be mostly malathion residue. The smell was serious
enough to cause some missions to terminate due to crew nausea.

Our maintenance and aircrews tried to scrape off a smelly, oily
film from surfaces and to dig out from nooks and crannies a dirty
brown tar substance to remove the stench. Advisory teams from
HQ Air Force Material Command, but could only advise
ineffective scrubbing with dish detergent. Eventually, efforts
ceased when we were told the wings would have to be pulled and
cargo decks removed to improve the situation. Our problem
proved impossible to resolve without depot-level disassembly of
the wing structure and cargo deck and thus had to be tolerated. In
the summer, at least we could fly with the cockpit windows
open…can’t do that very easily in today’s transports.

In 1994, twelve years after our airplanes were retired, the first extensive
testing was done on them by the USAF Armstrong Laboratories. 100% of
the test surfaces proved positive for TCDD contamination, “heavily
contaminated” per the civilian toxicologist’s report. In 1996, the Air Force
Office of Environmental Law directed all contamination information “be
kept in official channels only.” This was because two contaminated aircraft
had accidently been sold to Walt Disney Films, and others to foreign
governments, and was thus a subject of embarrassment. There the matter
rested...not quite secret, but certainly not at all public.... until details were
released via Freedom of Information Act requests by the veterans in 2010.

Our veterans who sought VA care for the typical Agent Orange-
presumptive illnesses were immediately advised that no exposure occurred
aboard this “danger to public health” airplane. Somehow, no exposure
occurred during the decade we flew the “heavily contaminated” C-123, with
hundreds of hours aloft, hundreds of hours on the ground, hours spent
cleaning, scraping, grinding, corrosion control, repairing and such chores.

The VA advanced an illogical position that human skin is a near-perfect
barrier preventing “dry dioxin transfer.” The dioxin had dried on all
surfaces inside the cargo area (although it also formed a persistent tar-like
substance in many nooks and crannies). VA also told us no ingestion or
inhalation occurred in this unpressurized, high-vibration old airplane.

We disagree. We learn from IOM and other reports that much occupational
exposure to dioxin is via the dermal route. The VA’s slant has been
described as “unscientific” by toxicologists, ten of whom joined with five
physicians in forwarding their challenge to the Secretary of Veterans
Affairs on 29 November 2012. Names on their letter are familiar to this
Committee – Drs. Jeanne Stellman, Arnold Schecher, and Linda Birnbaum
among them…experts named throughout the IOM reports and cited
frequently. Experts who concluded our C-123 crews were exposed and need
dioxin exposure care.

Additionally, Dr. Tom Sinks, Deputy Director of the Agency for Toxic
Substances and Disease Registry, evaluated our situation and stated in his
letter to me “I believe aircrews operating in this, and similar, environments
were exposed to TCDD.” Drs. Schecter and Stellman differ only in the
degree of exposure our crews experienced, with Stellman saying it was
more than Vietnam ground soldiers and Schecter saying exposure was about
the same as the troops. Thus, VA opposes our exposure claims, but two
federal agencies agree we were exposed...CDC/ATSDT and National
Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, as do the other experts.

At meetings chaired by Senator Burr’s staff, VA executives promised to
refer the C-123 issue for an IOM special project. The promise was broken
this fall and all veterans’ claims are being denied. Mr. Tom Murphy of the
VA’s Compensation Service also recently denied my own claim, as he


ruled, “In summary, there is no conclusive evidence that TCDD exposure
causes any adverse health effects.” He summarized the “dry dioxin transfer”
concept, claiming dermal transfer impossible even with broken skin, or skin
that was moist, soiled or oily. He said opinions from physicians were to be
considered, not those from the scientists whose letters I’d submitted. Our
fear is that this will continue being the way our veterans’ claims are refused.

Our survivors range in age from 60 to 85. Ours seems to be the only
situation the VA denies that exposure occurred even in with confirmed
contamination. We believe this to be because the VA seeks to keep the
numbers of veterans seeking their care at a minimum. Although VA assures
us C-123 veterans will be considered on an individual basis, they also
carefully deny every veteran’s claim on…an individual basis.

Committee rules govern what can be done to help us. We understand

actions are based on information presented in the peer-reviewed published
biomedical literature. Clearly, adequate literature, test results and other
official documents exist to permit IOM a complete understanding, and the
literature is well supported by the opinions of experts you respect.

We ask that there be an expression by IOM that our C-123 veterans have
met the VA’s requirement for evidencing both contamination and exposure.
It is simple. There’s no new science required. As Dr. Stellman concluded,

less exposure than Ranch Hand veterans but more than Vietnam ground
soldiers. Dr. Schecter wrote “In my professional judgment you are at
increased risk for illness from the dioxin in Agent Orange because of your
exposure to it from your military service.”

An important point we stress: No consideration has been allowed by the VA
of the fact that tests weren’t done until decades after the Vietnam spray
missions and after many decades of dioxin breakdown. No new science is
needed to understand that the dioxin was more intense from 1972 to 1982
than when tested in 1994. There is no science or justice in leaving this issue
unresolved for more years. The Air Force should have told the veterans of
our exposure at least by the time the 1994 tests were done at Wright-
Patterson AFB. We have the Air Force and other government source
documents to verify each of our points at www.c123cancer.org

Thank you for your kind consideration and for this opportunity to place our
concerns on the record. Thank you especially if the committee finds a
manner, however publically or privately expressed, to pursue this issue.

Respectfully submitted,

Wesley T. Carter
Chair, The C-123 Veterans Association


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