Knowledge of the disease goes back to 1991 the United States first began to recognize that Agent Orange caused Vietnam veterans serious illnesses. This disease causes a person’s lungs to become thicker and stiffen. The scaring of this tissue is what leads to fibrosis. With this, disease patients those with this sickness unable to process oxygen into their bloodstream. Some of the causes include “exposure to environmental pollutants and certain medicines can cause the disease.” (nhlbi.nih.gov) Agent Orange was the major environmental pollutant in Vietnam. Some other things could also be linked to are silica, hard metal dust, bacteria, and animal proteins. There are several things to increase your chance of IPF: smoking cigarettes, Epstein- Barr virus, Influenza A, herpesvirus 6, HIV, and hepatitis C. There is currently no known cure for IPF. Most live anywhere from 3-5 years after they have been diagnosed. This disease resembles lung cancer.
Agent Orange was one of many chemical formals that became part of the “rainbow.” Ron recalls, “there were all kinds of bins that were different colors, not just Orange. There were blue and green ones too.” (Ron, 2018)
For more information on agent orange and benefit programs for veterans please visit: www.vba.va.gov/VBA/benefits/factsheets/