Aug 01 2014
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) has introduced legislation to research the health conditions of descendants of veterans who were exposed to toxins during their military service. The Toxic Exposure Research Act of 2014, which is supported by the Vietnam Veterans of America and AMVETS, would establish a national center for research on the diagnosis and treatment of health conditions stemming from exposure to toxins such as Agent Orange in Vietnam, Gulf War neurotoxins, burn pits in Iraq and other chemicals from recent overseas conflicts. U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) joined Sen. Moran in introducing the legislation.
“The Toxic Exposure Research Act is about addressing the painful, residual wounds of war that may impact a service member’s family long after the military operation is over – wounds that may not be evident until decades later when passed on to children and generations to follow,” Sen. Moran said. “The Toxic Exposure Research Act is a necessary step toward making certain our military men and women and their descendants will be properly cared for in the future. We must keep our promise to our veterans and their families, who have made great sacrifices for the sake of our country’s security and our freedom.”
The Toxic Exposure Research Act of 2014 would also authorize the Department of Defense to declassify certain incidents of exposure of members of the armed forces to toxic substances. Additionally the bill would create a national outreach campaign on potential long-term health effects of exposure to toxic substances by members of the Armed Forces and their descendants.
Many of the symptoms from toxic exposure are frequently misdiagnosed in descendants of veterans due to a lack of understanding and scientific proof. However, veterans have observed increased levels of cancers, birth defects and other conditions in their subsequent generations. The evidence of these wounds of war afflicting the children and grandchildren of service members exposed to toxins is growing and research is warranted to collect data and study this issue. The goal of this medical research is to determine the conditions that result from debilitating toxins and hopefully lead to the appropriate support and benefits veterans and family members deserve.