Steven Stellman - Estimation of exposure to Agent Orange and other defoliants among American troops in Vietnam: a methodological approach

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      Publication Details (including relevant citation   information):

      Stellman, S. D., Stellman, J. M. 9 (4) 305-21-

      Abstract: Two pivotal problems in determining   whether exposure to herbicides has caused disease in Vietnam   veterans or their offspring are definition of which troops were   exposed and extent of exposure. The DoD HERBS tape is the most   complete publicly available record of herbicide spraying in   Vietnam. It contains about 17,000 records consisting of   coordinates of spray missions, dates, chemical agent, quantity   and area sprayed, and mission purpose. We have developed a set of   discrete and continuous indexes of probability of exposure to   herbicides for individual veterans. These probability indexes are   based on HERBS tape spray data and on locations and dates of   service derived from a place-and-date matrix completed by the   veteran. They can take into account a conservative estimate of   environmental persistence of herbicide by using first-order   exponential decay kinetics with an estimated half-life of dioxin.   Mean values for the continuous exposure probability indexes were   significantly greater among veterans judged to be exposed   according to self-reported job titles and specific military   experiences than among men judged unlikely to have been exposed.   Probabilistic exposure indexes based on HERBS tape for   classification of likely exposure to herbicides in South Vietnam   during 1965-1971 appear to be well suited for comparative   classification of veterans and hence for use in epidemiologic   studies.

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