Air Force Health Study (Project RANCH HAND II). An Epidemiologic Investigation of Health Effects in Air Force Personnel Following Exposure to Herbicides. Baseline Morbidity Study Results
Interim rept. 1979-1982
SCHOOL OF AEROSPACE MEDICINE BROOKS AFB TX
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In 1979 the United States Air Force USAF made the commitment to Congress and to the White House to conduct an epidemiologic study of the possible health effects from chemical exposure in Air Force personnel who conducted aerial herbicide dissemination missions in Vietnam Operation RANCH HAND. The purpose of this epidemiologic investigation is to determine whether long-term health effects exist and can be attributed to occupational exposure to herbicides. This study uses a matched cohort design in a noncurrent prospective setting, incorporating mortality, morbidity, and follow-up studies. This report presents the results of health information on 2706 Ranch Handers and comparison individuals obtained by questionnaire and 2269 Ranch Handers and comparison individuals undergoing an extensive physical examination. This baseline report concludes that there is insufficient evidence to support a cause and effect relationship between herbicide exposure and adverse health in the Ranch Hand group at this time. The study has disclosed numerous medical findings, mostly of a minor or undetermined nature, that require detailed follow-up. In full context, the baseline study results should be viewed as reassuring to the Ranch Handers and to their families at this time.
- Medicine and Medical Research