© 2024 WSHU
NPR News & Classical Music
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Schumer Seeks Federal Recognition Of Diseases Linked To Agent Orange Exposure

John Minchillo
/
AP
The flight suit of retired Air Force reserve tech Sgt. Ed Kienle, 73, hangs at his home in Wilmington, Ohio, in 2015. Kienle flew or worked on Fairchild C-123 aircraft in the U.S. from 1972 to 1982.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has urged the federal government to recognize four conditions linked with the toxic chemicals in Agent Orange.

Recent studies have connected it to diseases that affect the bladder, thyroidheartand nervous system.  

Schumer says recognition would allow more Vietnam War veterans to qualify for disability benefits.

“There are 80,000 veterans on Long Island and New York City alone who would be subject to this. We are here to say we need this done now, right away, because people are dying.”

Agent Orange is a powerful herbicide used in the Vietnam War to kill forests and crops.

Scientists have linked the chemical to several health concerns. Many health issues don’t appear until years or decades later.