|I'm forwarding a series of emails to and from Richard, an Army chopper pilot in Vietnam in 1970 concerning herbicides. If you have any questions, please send them to me and I will coordinate with Richard, who has difficulty with his vision. Good information here...|
Wednesday, August 24, 2011 12:58 PM
Please read this email. I don't write email much anymore because of a rare disease that I have acquired called MYASTHENIA GRAVIS. I am convinced, based upon my research of it since June when a preliminary diagnosis was made by a Neurosurgeon following back surgery, that I came to get this disease from exposure to massive doses of pesticides during the Vietnam War.
This email is not long but provides some good links in the event you or any of your Vietnam Vet friends should develop the condition. Based upon what I've read, when this disease is 'acquired', it takes a long time for the disease to evolve. Considering so many Vietnam Vets have already died, the etiology of MG never had a chance to evolve in them. Those of us who still live may yet come down with it.
Sent: Wed, Aug 24, 2011 8:31 am
In my quest to determine HOW I came to have a rare disease called MYASTHENIA GRAVIS, I researched the following topic: "Were organophosphate pesticides sprayed in Vietnam". I found they were indeed sprayed there. These kinds of pesticides not only cause diseases like MG, Parkinson's, Nerve Damage, Cancers, Autoimmune Disorders, Heart Disease, Endocrine Disorders, Chemical AIDS, Chloracne, Multiple Myeloma, Birth Defects, and Peripheral Neuropathy, they are also deadly. These are some of the ailments I found but there are others. I just listed the ones we're most familiar with.
Below are just a few of the links I have read in their entirety about this subject. After 'googling' the topic, there were over 60,000 links and I read but a handful of them. This convinces me that many Vietnam Vets who suffer ailments commonly associated with Agent Orange exposure may also suffer from diseases associated with, but not recognized by the Veterans Administration, Pesticide exposure. The combination of the chemicals to which we were exposed is, in my opinion, a factor in our collective illnesses. I tend to believe the Federal Government chose to go the route of accepting Agent Orange associations vs. Pesticides because the cost would be much less. It’s always about the money.
Links about pesticide poisonings in Vietnam:
1. Anything on "organophosphates"
Myasthenia Gravis is a debilitating disease. It causes intense fatigue and loss of muscle strength. For me, I would take up the cause to pursue V.A. recognition of Pesticide Exposure if I could but I have neither the strength or mental capacity to do it now. After reading for about an hour, I lose the ability to see out of both eyes due to the ocular effect of the disease.
I do believe, however, that individually we should discourage spraying of pesticides in our communities and upon the foods we eat. While pesticide exposure can occur in various forms such as water, soil, air, skin and ingesting, it should become a concerted effort to get it banned. I read in one of the links that Malathion from use in the Amazon was found in the Arctic. We're killing ourselves with reckless disregard for the consequences of a pest-free society.
But I wanted to document my findings and convey the information on to other Vietnam Veterans in the hopes that should they be diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis, they will have a better handle on WHAT it is they have and HOW they got it.
I would ask that any of you who want to forward this email to someone other than respond to me, please ask me first because even though I am blind copying this to 10 of you, email addresses somehow get out and until each of you say its okay to divulge your name/email address publicly, I prefer to protect your identities and mine.
August 24, 2011
One More Good Pesticide Link
Wednesday, August 24, 2011 7:08 PM
Here's another good pesticide link for your file, if you're keeping any of this stuff.
Sent: Sun, Aug 28, 2011 8:31 pm
Good link on the pesticides. I believe this is what got me and it will take me, too. The IVIG therapy may have improved some of the symptoms of ocular Myasthenia but I'm having increased difficulty swallowing. I reported this problem to my PCP at the V.A. several months ago but it was ignored. I can't blame anyone for it because MG is so rare and if a physician isn't familiar with it, he wouldn't suspect it. I have a follow up with him next week and if the swallowing gets worse, I'm headed to the V.A. immediately.
I've found a few more Vietnam Vets and Vietnam era Vets who served in Thailand during the Nam years working on aircraft that were used to spray products: could have been Agent Orange and/or Pesticides. I suspect there are more of us than the V.A. wants to admit to. For me, I'm already at 100% P&T but I have to live 10 years past my award date in order for my wife to get a DIC award regardless of what I die from. So, making it to August 1, 2014 is very important to me and is the only reason I haven't signed one of those end of life documents the V.A. was pushing on me for several years.
I think we all have an encumbrance to track down as many Vietnam Vets as we can find to caution them about the effects of the frequent mosquito spraying that was done at our in-country assignment locations to help get a handle on who may be affected by this disease. Doc, you as a VSO, have you come in contact with anyone wanting to file a claim on Myasthenia Gravis?
In the link is mentioned Malathion as a causative for MG. Also mentioned is Neuropathy which all of us have.
If any of you know of other Vets who suffer (and I do mean suffer) from Myasthenia Gravis, give them my email address and have them contact me. There may be a way to get some disability for this disease but it has to be done in a specific way. It carries, I believe, 30%. For me, I've got a combination of 240% so this 30% won't make any difference on my comp but it may help someone else and that's my intent.
Best to all,
From: Paul To: Richard
Sent: Thu, Sep 1, 2011 12:27 pm
As you probably know, I "bcc" all my outgoing emails. Can I share the contents of your three emails sent between 08/24 and 08/29?
Thursday, September 1, 2011 10:31 PM
From: Richard To: Cc: Hi, Paul.
Yes, by all means, share it.
I've been in contact with two more Vets who have it and on Military.com I've posted about my condition seeking contact with others who may have it. It still seems like a no brainer that if we already have exposure issues resulting in neuropathy, whether it be from diabetes or stand alone, the nerve damage of one would be associated with the other. Nerve damage is nerve damage, plain and simple. Autoimmune diseases caused by the chemicals are still autoimmune diseases.
My problem won't net me any additional compensation and I'm not seeking any but those who have the problem and are not 100% should be compensated if it was caused by chemical exposures.
Stay in contact, Paul.