Steven Stellman - A geographic information system for characterizing exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides in Vietnam

Version 1

      Publication Details (including relevant citation   information):

      Stellman, J. M., Stellman, S. D., Weber, T., Tomasallo, C.,   Stellman, A. B., Christian, R., Jr. 111 (3) 321-8-

      Abstract: Between 1961 and 1971, U.S. military   forces dispersed more than 19 million gallons of phenoxy and   other herbicidal agents in the Republic of Vietnam, including   more than 12 million gallons of dioxin-contaminated Agent Orange,   yet only comparatively limited epidemiologic and environmental   research has been carried out on the distribution and health   effects of this contamination. As part of a response to a   National Academy of Sciences' request for development of exposure   methodologies for carrying out epidemiologic research, a   conceptual framework for estimating exposure opportunity to   herbicides and a geographic information system (GIS) have been   developed. The GIS is based on a relational database system that   integrates extensive data resources on dispersal of herbicides   (e.g., HERBS records of Ranch Hand aircraft flight paths,   gallonage, and chemical agent), locations of military units and   bases, dynamic movement of combat troops in Vietnam, and   locations of civilian population centers. The GIS can provide a   variety of proximity counts for exposure to 9,141 herbicide   application missions. In addition, the GIS can be used to   generate a quantitative exposure opportunity index that accounts   for quantity of herbicide sprayed, distance, and environmental   decay of a toxic factor such as dioxin, and is flexible enough to   permit substitution of other mathematical exposure models by the   user. The GIS thus provides a basis for estimation of herbicide   exposure for use in large-scale epidemiologic studies. To   facilitate widespread use of the GIS, a user-friendly software   package was developed to permit researchers to assign exposure   opportunity indexes to troops, locations, or individuals.

      Address (URL):