Agent Orange and Other Herbicides

For many Vietnam veterans in Tennessee, across our state and the nation, the Vietnam conflict isn’t over as the effects of exposure to Agent Orange takes its toll on them, their descendants, and survivors.

“Operation Ranch Hand” was the code name for spraying a host of herbicides, primarily Agent Orange, by the U.S. military in Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries to protect American and allied troops by defoliating the dense jungle vegetation hiding enemy positions.

Over the past few decades, a substantial body of scientific and medical research has shown that Agent Orange and other herbicides containing dioxin have a high probability of causing or contributing to a variety of health conditions suffered by veterans who served in Vietnam between January 1962 and May 1975.

Approximately 180,000+ Tennesseans served in Vietnam, and no one knows for sure how many of them were exposed to Agent Orange.  Some were deployed in areas during and immediately after spraying operations, while others actually handled Agent Orange and did the spraying.

The Veterans Administration has determined diseases suffered by Vietnam veterans, including prostate cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, respiratory cancers, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, Type II diabetes, and some heart diseases are among those caused by exposure to Agent Orange.  Some birth defects affecting children and grandchildren may have also been caused by Agent Orange and may be eligible for VA benefits.