State Senator Joe Uecker (R-Miami Township) today introduced a resolution urging Congress to enact the Toxic Exposure Research Act of 2015 to assist families and individuals affected by exposure to Agent Orange. 

The U.S. military used Agent Orange from 1962 to 1975 during the Vietnam conflict to remove leaves from trees that provided cover for enemy forces. This chemical was later linked to certain cancers and other diseases in service members exposed to it. Certain birth defects in the children of service members were also attributed to exposure to Agent Orange. 

Over the years, much progress has been made to deliver benefits and services to those impacted by Agent Orange. However, work still needs to be done to guarantee information is shared and available to aging descendants. 

“Many service men and women defended our county with honor and sacrificed much during the Vietnam conflict. We must honor their family members who still suffer today by providing them the resources necessary to live healthy lives,” Uecker said.

The Toxic Exposure Research Act of 2015 creates a national center for research within the existing framework of the Department of Veterans Affairs focused on the health conditions of service members’ descendants. A newly created advisory board will inform the research center of services that should be developed for descendants or changes in health conditions that impact this population. The Act also establishes a national outreach campaign to disseminate information on exposure rates and the resulting health conditions. 

SCR 11 will now be referred to a committee for further consideration.

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