The Veterans Education and Benefits Expansion Act of 2001 mandated that the Veterans and Agent Orange biennial updates continue through 2014.The committee considered all studies published in a peer-reviewed journal that involved humans exposed to Agent Orange. Many of the studies involved exposures among workers who manufactured Agent Orange at sites throughout the U.S.
Western New York was among the sites where Agent Orange was manufactured and high concentrations of dioxin were later found at areas in Niagara Falls, near the Love Canal neighborhood, which was evacuated in 1978 due to toxic waste seepage.
Dioxin or TCDD is an unwanted chemical contaminant that can be generated during the production of herbicides such as Agent Orange, which the US military used as a defoliant in Vietnam from 1962 to 1971.
Olson, who directs the environmental health sciences division in UB's School of Public Health and Health Professions, says that toxicological studies determined decades ago that dioxin is the most potent known tumor promoter, in addition to being the most potent manmade toxin.