This article originally appeared in Environ Health Perspect. Mar 2003; 111(3): 321–328. at ncbi.nlm.nih.gov 

Abstract

Between 1961 and 1971, U.S. military forces dispersed more than 19 million gallons of phenoxy and other herbicidal agents in the Republic of Vietnam, including more than 12 million gallons of dioxin-contaminated Agent Orange, yet only comparatively limited epidemiologic and environmental research has been carried out on the distribution and health effects of this contamination. As part of a response to a National Academy of Sciences’ request for development of exposure methodologies for carrying out epidemiologic research, a conceptual framework for estimating exposure opportunity to herbicides and a geographic information system (GIS) have been developed. The GIS is based on a relational database system that integrates extensive data resources on dispersal of herbicides (e.g., HERBS records of Ranch Hand aircraft flight paths, gallonage, and chemical agent), locations of military units and bases, dynamic movement of combat troops in Vietnam, and locations of civilian population centers. The GIS can provide a variety of proximity counts for exposure to 9,141 herbicide application missions. In addition, the GIS can be used to generate a quantitative exposure opportunity index that accounts for quantity of herbicide sprayed, distance, and environmental decay of a toxic factor such as dioxin, and is flexible enough to permit substitution of other mathematical exposure models by the user. The GIS thus provides a basis for estimation of herbicide exposure for use in large-scale epidemiologic studies. To facilitate widespread use of the GIS, a user-friendly software package was developed to permit researchers to assign exposure opportunity indexes to troops, locations, or individuals.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (1.3M).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Blair A, Zheng T, Linos A, Stewart PA, Zhang YW, Cantor KP. Occupation and leukemia: a population-based case-control study in Iowa and Minnesota. Am J Ind Med. 2001 Jul;40(1):3–14.[PubMed]
  • Gunier RB, Harnly ME, Reynolds P, Hertz A, Von Behren J. Agricultural pesticide use in California: pesticide prioritization, use densities, and population distributions for a childhood cancer study. Environ Health Perspect. 2001 Oct;109(10):1071–1078. [PMC free article][PubMed]
  • Stellman SD, Stellman JM. Estimation of exposure to Agent Orange and other defoliants among American troops in Vietnam: a methodological approach. Am J Ind Med. 1986;9(4):305–321.[PubMed]
  • Stellman SD, Stellman JM, Sommer JF., Jr Combat and herbicide exposures in Vietnam among a sample of American Legionnaires. Environ Res. 1988 Dec;47(2):112–128. [PubMed]
  • Verger P, Cordier S, Thuy LT, Bard D, Dai LC, Phiet PH, Gonnord MF, Abenhaim L. Correlation between dioxin levels in adipose tissue and estimated exposure to Agent Orange in south Vietnamese residents. Environ Res. 1994 May;65(2):226–242. [PubMed]
  • Ward MH, Nuckols JR, Weigel SJ, Maxwell SK, Cantor KP, Miller RS. Identifying populations potentially exposed to agricultural pesticides using remote sensing and a Geographic Information System. Environ Health Perspect. 2000 Jan;108(1):5–12. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Also see: https://www.vietnamfulldisclosure.org/index.php/stellmans-graphical-map-of-agent-orange-spraying-in-vietnam-from-1963-1970/