Monday, June 15, 2009

Dioxin

What the U.S. Navy knew and didn’t [or wouldn’t!] tell us.
An OP-ED Paper by Chuck Graham, with Susie Belanger

I’m a U.S. Navy Vietnam Veteran and I have had a claim in place with the Department of Veterans Affairs [DVA] since 2003. Like so many of you I’ve been on the hamster wheel and suffered through the Haas appeal all to no avail. Over the years I’ve researched any available material that might help prove that the U.S. Navy had knowledge to support the findings of the Australian study, ENTOX, also called NRCET from 2002. This study involved the co-distillation of Dioxin through the fresh water evaporator systems commonly used aboard Royal Australian Naval Ships that were present in Vietnam. The same evaporator systems were commonly used by U.S. Navy Ships that were present in Vietnam, as the majority of the Australian Naval Ships were built at U.S. Naval Shipyards. It is my hope that the following information will shed some knowledge of what the U.S. Navy knew and had in their possession and if they knew then the Department of Defense [DOD] and more than likely the Veterans Administration [VA], now the Department of Veterans Affairs [DVA], also knew.

Click here to read the Australian Study

As far back as 1946 the U.S. Navy had knowledge of the dangers of distilling water for shipboard uses while in littoral waters or certain other locations. This was evidenced by the fact that while conducting atomic radiation testing at Bikini Atoll, they were warned not to utilize any seawater aboard ships in the area, for fear of contamination by the radiation which had contaminated the coastal waters. This was “Operation Crossroads” and 79 ships that were present during these tests, were salvaged and sent to Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in San Francisco for decontamination. An acid wash had to be used to decontaminate the evaporators and water purification systems.

In the U.S. Army Technical Manual TM 5-813-8 from September 1986 on water Desalination chapter 5-1 paragraph C, states
"Some organic materials will carry across a distillation/condensation process with the water. Pesticides and industrial organic chemicals may be difficult to remove by distillation/condensation."

Click here to read the
U.S. Army Technical Manual TM 5-813-8, SEP 1986

Ok folks, let’s look at and re-read that statement!! Someone in the Army had to have done some tests to make that statement. How else would they have known, without testing the condensate, that this was so? That proves that the Military knew that dioxin/herbicides/pesticides would remain in distilled water.

The manual of Naval Preventive Medicine NAVMED P -5010-6 rev 1990, chapter 6: Water Supply Afloat, sec 6-3 states,
"Distillation of water from harbors or from polluted sea water is to be avoided except in emergencies. Sea water must be assumed polluted when ships are operated in close formation."

Click here to read
NAVMED P-5010-6 rev 1990

In the U.S. Navy’s Risk Analysis of Shipboard Drinking Water Chemical Contaminants, August 18, 2000, author Lieutenant Michael D. Cassady, Medical Service Corps, U.S. Navy states, "An important aspect of the drinking water produced onboard ships and submarines is, its source. Ships and submarines routinely do not produce water unless they are at least twelve miles from the shoreline...However, the operational environment for ships and submarines is changing and more missions are requiring operations in littoral waters for extended lengths of time. Littoral waters are more likely to be at risk for primary and secondary contaminates."

Click here to read
Risk Analysis of Shipboard Drinking Water Chemical Contaminants, August 18, 2000

Now while on the gun-line conducting Naval Gun Fire Support [NGFS] firing missions off the coast of Vietnam, we did not have time to pull off and run out 12 miles and make fresh water. We made water where we were -- 24/7.

Now to get to the heart of the matter and the reason for this paper: We have discovered several Naval Documents that we feel should shed some light on the knowledge that the U.S. Navy had over the years starting in 1963 with BUMED INSTRUCTION 6240.3B, 30 SEP 1963. Pay special attention to page 3 where it lists
Chemical Characteristics Limits. No where do you see the word Herbicides mentioned.

Click here to read BUMED INSTRUCTION 6240.3B 30 SEP 1963

Then in 1972 we see BUMED INSTRUCTION 6240.3C DEC 1972, Pay special attention to page 6 on Chemical Concentrations, where it now includes Pesticides, Herbicides, and Fungicides; and see footnote [2]. This is just a short period of 9 years from 1963 through 1972 that something brought to their attention that it would be desirable to remove Pesticides and Herbicides from our drinking water! In my humble opinion, scientific tests of some sort had to be conducted to verify this concern over Herbicides.

Click here to read BUMED INSTRUCTION 6240.3C, DEC 1972

Then in February 1987 we have this document from Naval Facilities Engineering Command:
Guide Performance Work Statement [GPWS] For Water Plants and System Operation and Maintenance. Prepared by Southern Division Naval Facilities Engineering Command in Charleston, South Carolina, it states, "The contractor shall produce and store treated water free of taste and or odor and that meets the minimum water quality standards described below:" see page 44 of he GWPS PDF Document where we see Herbicides are a concern again.

Click here to read
NAVFAC GUIDE FOR WATER PLANTS & SYSTEMS - FEB 1987

Finally, see the following study where Researchers in Vietnam in 1970 tested fish and crustaceans For the presence of TCDD {Dioxin}. These are the same researchers that were mentioned in the Australian ENTOX study and the fish tested were caught by local fishermen in Vietnam, both in fresh water as well as saltwater. This shows that dioxin’s were present in local fish in 1970 and If dioxin stopped at lands-end, as the DVA would have us believe, how did it pollute saltwater fish and crustaceans?

Click here to read
An Analytical Method for Detecting TCDD [Dioxin]: Levels of TCDD in Samples from Vietnam - SEP 1973

Thanks Chuck and thanks Susie! Outstanding research work here.

We will add the folowing to wrap this up:

Clearly, then, not only did the Army and Navy, and their respective offices overseeing potable water handling, the Department of Defense, and the Veterans Administration, all know of the presence of dioxin in the drinking water and the difficulties of getting rid of it [which was not solved until the introduction of reverse osmosis filtration, but the lengths to which they went to caution about its presence show the awareness of the danger of it in the potable water. There can be no doubt that thousands of sailors and embarked Marines were exposed to dioxins from their ship's potable water system: they drank, cooked, and showered with water contaminated by high concentrations of deadly toxic dioxins.

VNVets

”It is a stain on this nation's honor that the Department of Veterans Affairs has become a deadlier and more difficult adversary to the American veteran than any they have ever faced on a battlefield."-- VNVets

"The concept that Agent Orange, and its effects, stopped dead in its tracks at the shoreline is simply too illogical, and too ludicrous to accept. What does that say about the Bush Administration and his Department of Veterans Affairs?"--VNVets

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations." --President Abraham Lincoln

"It follows then as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious."--President George Washington

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13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lots of good info but the whole point of it seems to be to convince the readers here on VNVETS and WE aren't the ones who need convincing!! I would hope this data has been sent someplace it will do some good.....

Anonymous said...

The problem with all of this is there is no real substantiation of any of it. It appears to be a slef-serving attempt to twist things around to fit a particular point. Nice try but no cigar.

VNVets said...

Well, a DVA flunky shows up. That's a sure sign that the authors have struck home big time.

These are documents, official Navy and Army documents.

No substantiation?

Thanks for the enormous belly laugh.

You ought to stick to whatever REMF type job you do at the DVA. They shouldn't allow you out in public like this.

VNVets

Anonymous said...

While I tend to agree with your opinion of what this guy said regarding '...a slef-serving attempt...'; labeling anyone who doesn't agree instantly with us to be a 'DVA flunky' is a bit much. Perhaps this guy can tell us just where he's coming from and, if he ISN'T a 'DVA flunky' and isn't a Navy VN vet with an AO condition; what is his point in answering at all?? BTW, I wrote the first comment which I still think is very valid.....we spend a lot of time here working to convince one another it seems.

VNVets said...

Trust me, he, or she, is a DVA flunky.

The DVA was already at work even before the bill was introduced. They are spreading the word throughout Congress that the Bill will cost $27 billion!

We got that partially fixed but still need to get the word out to the rest of Congress.

As for your first comment, I addressed that as best I could with the follow on post put up yesterday.

But I will add this: The DVA reads this blog. Congress reads this blog.

As for the data itself, the best place for it is in the hands of those of us with active claims.

In addition, it will be presented to Congress during hearings on HR 2254, and any other Agent Orange or toxin legislation that is forthcoming from the House Committee on Veterans Affairs.

Rest assured, this stuff is going to the correct places.

Boss said...

I don't make it a policy to post comments to the things that I read here partially because I am not very smart, and I suffer from some mental health issues. But, it seems to me that even though this information has been out there for several years it has been negelected and ignored more for the MONEY than anything else.

Last month I received my AO denial letter for diabetes and related conditions. I served aboard an LST hauling cargo from Da Nang to Chu Lai and Cau Viet. We were in the inland waterways and elsewheres up and down the coast. You would think that the VA would know what we did over there without putting it upon me and others to remember when and where we were exposed to AO 42 years ago.

Oh, well I guess it doesn't really matter any more. Thanks for letting me say my piece.

David A. combs

VNVets said...

David,

Don't give up hope. Keep fighting. And most definitely, APPEAL your denial.

Change is happening in the DVA and the Agent Orange Equity Act of 2009 will be enacted this year.

VNVets

Anonymous said...

Dear First Poster. This article was not posted to convince the readers of this blog of anything. Simply to inform them of findings that should concern them of how they were deceived. Now hopefully you and other readers will apply this info where it counts most. As for VNVETS they are one of the few Blogs that will post the truth and tell it like it is. As for Boss, it sounds like you have a firm inland water claim. Get a new VSO. Chuck

Anonymous said...

Chuck; I didn't post to find fault with your article. I found it to be a good summary of things I've seen in other places....you just left out the paragraph that tells us how to make the DVA pay any attention to it..... How much of what you posted would come as news to the DVA? I suspect they know one heck of a lot more than all of us combined....that's how they are so good a turning us away; they seem to have nothing to fear from the courts.

VNVets said...

You need to read the follow up entry posted that tells how to use the information in Chuck and Susie's post.

http://vnvets.blogspot.com/2009/06/dioxin-follow-on-strategies-for-va.html

copy and paste that address into your browser address window.

VNVets

Randie Wilhelm said...

I need your help. Looking for veterans who served on the USS Floyd B Parks in 1965. Interested in any illness these men suffered from. Trying to get VA benefits for my husband. Please repost anywhere you can. Email randiewilhelm@hotmail.com THANK YOU FOR ANY HELP.

Nicole Wilson said...

My father was in the RAN. I have been trying to get diagnosis for my son and myself since the 9th February 2012.
I am over fighting with doctors and disputing diagnosis.
I believe, and can prove without a microscope that my children and i are suffering from Spina bifida cystica in palpable mass. Before I found any of this information I also concluded we have possible Hodgkins disease or some form of disease of the lymphatic system , toxic megacolon, soft tissue sarcoma and I see some form of bone disease in my children. My daughters X-ray that is supposedly normal to me is evidence of toxic mega colon. If it is normal why is exactly what I said it would be.
I am over being told I am crazy. My children and I are literally YOUR WALKING TALKING evidence for your case.
I am over being sick and being told it is in my head. If I don't get someone to help me soon I fear my son and I will possibly be dead before next Christmas as, with my research,two physical things happened to the both of us last year have deadly consequences.
Something popped off my spine bringing my knees to my chest for 5 minutes. Whatever it was felt that good it can't have been good in any way shape or form. It felt like a champagne cork only as big as a cereal bowl. It felt like air from a balloon spread throughout my entire body. My son was assaulted, body slammed onto concrete and rolled and hit his head into a wall. We both sustained trauma to our bodies.
I'm told, nothing to worry about. My research tells me if I am right death imminent within 2 years. then we have the Urea breath test, radiation pill. 18 hours later I felt like this big worm moved backward around my large intestine at the same time my son was begging for an ambulance that wouldn't come.
I ring DVA and VVCS and in Australia the children of Vietnam Veteran's can get mental health help but no help with a physical diagnosis. In the public sector you talk about Agent Orange and you get locked in a psychiatric ward.
I lost my brother 14 years ago due to combined drug toxicity. He had toxic mega colon. That's why he died. If I can prove I have it, he had it too. If I have it, my children have it too.
My life is ruined. My parents are not part of my life and I have no support. I have gone from a completely independent single mother of 3 to someone on disability pension living in fear of what is going on and how I will get on with life, if I still have one to live, because no-one will believe me or help me. I am scared for what I see in my children. Bone marrow disease. I am not making this up. They symptoms they change everyday.
Can you please help me before we become the statistics we were born to become.

VNVets said...

Ms. Wilson,

Please contact me by email at the following address:

emailvnvets at vetsnet.us

replace the at with an @ and close it up.

Not sure how much help I can be, but willing to give it a try.

VNVets