Agent Orange and intergenerational effects
Vietnam Veterans have had concerns about the health effects of Agent Orange and other tactical herbicides on future generations. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), an independent, non-governmental organization, has an agreement with VA to review the latest scientific literature on the long-term health effects of Agent Orange and other herbicides on Vietnam Veterans and to report findings. In the most recent report, Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 11 (2018).NASEM concluded that there is inadequate or insufficient evidence of birth defects in the descendants of Vietnam Veterans resulting from tactical herbicide exposure. In the previous report, Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2014 (2016), NASEM also found inadequate or insufficient evidence betwen birth defects, including spina bifida, with a parents’ potential exposure to Agent Orange or other herbicides.
Despite NASEM’s findings, spina bifida (with the exception of spina bifida occulta), is currently covered for any dependent of a Vietnam Veteran. In addition, some birth defects are covered for women Veterans.
Learn more about benefits for children with birth defects and how to apply.