U.S. troops, Vietnamese nationals exposed to dangerous chemicals
By Jason Grotto, Chris Groskopf, Ryan Mark, Joe Germuska and Brian Boyer | Tribune staff
04 December, 2009
The maps BELOW can be used to see defoliant spraying missions by U.S. and South Vietnamese forces over Vietnam, as well as Cambodia.
Please note: Lines rendered on the map represent spraying runs, many of which are part of multi-run spraying missions. The quantity of herbicide listed in the map descriptions are per mission. Line width on the map is not an indicator of spray distribution. Herbicide quantity is not available for some missions.
These maps are based on the Herbicide Exposure Assessment-Vietnam database developed by Jeanne Stellman, professor emeritus at Columbia University's school of public health, and Columbia epidemiology professor Steven Stellman. They cleaned data from a 1974 National Academy of Sciences database and supplemented the records with documents from the National Archives. The database is considered the most comprehensive available on spraying missions. The effort was funded by a contract from the National Academy of Sciences to build an exposure model that could be used to assess the defoliants' health impact on U.S. veterans who served in Vietnam. The model has been evaluated twice by the Institute of Medicine, which recommended that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs use it to evaluate the chemicals' health impact. The VA has been testing the exposure model since 2003.