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.
Address (URL): http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3706306