Agent Orange Residue on Post-Vietnam War Airplanes
Some Air Force Reservists who were crew members on C-123 Provider aircraft, formerly used to spray Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, have raised health concerns about exposure to residual amounts of herbicides on the plane surfaces.
Responding to these concerns, VA asked the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to study possible exposure and increase in adverse health effects in C-123 crew members.
IOM released its report, Post-Vietnam Dioxin Exposure in Agent Orange-Contaminated C-123 Aircraft, Jan. 9, 2015. VA appreciates IOM's extensive review. We have assembled a group of clinical and other subject matter experts to review and respond to the report.
If you have health concerns, talk to your health care provider or local VA Environmental Health Coordinator.
How Reservists may have been exposed
TCDD, the toxic substance in Agent Orange, may be inhaled as an aerosol or ingested by contaminated food or water or from hand-to-mouth transfer.
During the Vietnam War, the U.S. Air Force used C-123 aircraft to spray Agent Orange to clear jungles that provided enemy cover in Vietnam. At the end of the spraying campaign in 1971, the remaining C-123 planes were reassigned to reserve units in the U.S. for routine cargo and medical evacuation missions spanning the next 10 years.
View VA's Office of Public Health's review of scientific reports related to Agent Orange in C-123 aircraft.
Research studies on Agent Orange
Research on the health effects of Agent Orange has been extensive and it continues. Diverse populations have been studied, including herbicide sprayers and manufacturers, other Vietnam-era Veterans, and those exposed during industrial accidents. This information helps us to determine what potential health effects may be related to different levels of exposure.
Find out more about research on health effects of Agent Orange.
If you have health concerns about Agent Orange, talk to your health care provider or local VA Environmental Health Coordinator.
Not enrolled in the VA health care system? Find out if you qualify for VA health care.
Compensation benefits for health problems
Veterans may file a claim for disability compensation for health problems they believe are related to exposure to Agent Orange residue on post-Vietnam C-123 airplanes.
Veterans must show on a factual basis that they were exposed in order to receive disability compensation for diseases related to Agent Orange exposure. VA decides these claims on a case-by-case basis. File a claim online.