In the past, veterans that served on vessels in the open waters off Vietnam and Cambodia, Blue Water Veterans, were not granted the same presumption of herbicide (Agent Orange) exposure as those that served on the inland waterways of Vietnam.
However, in 2019 the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act was passed. This Act grants the presumption of herbicide exposure to veterans that served on vessels, or in the air, not more than 12 nautical miles seaward of the demarcation line of Vietnam and Cambodia. This presumption holds for veterans that served in the area stated above between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975.
Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Veterans can research the dates and areas of their vessels by viewing logbooks at https://www.archives.gov/research/military/logbooks/navy-online
This exposure presumption, combine with a current diagnosis of one of the below presumptive conditions, significantly lowers the burden of proof for Veterans making a herbicide exposure related claim to the VA.
Presumptive Conditions for herbicide exposure include: 38 CFR 3.309(e)
- AL Amyloidosis
- Chronic B-cell leukemias
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
- Chloracne or similar acneform disease (if they become greater than 10 percent debilitating within a year of exposure to an herbicide agent)
- Diabetes Mellitus Type 2
- Hodgkin’s Disease
- Ischemic Heart Disease (including Coronary Artery Disease, Stable and Unstable Angina, Myocardial Infarction, and Sudden Cardiac Death.)
- Multiple Myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Peripheral Neuropathy, Early-Onset, Acute or Subacute (if they become greater than 10 percent debilitating within a year of exposure to an herbicide agent)
- Porphyria Cutanea Tarda (if they become greater than 10 percent debilitating within a year of exposure to an herbicide agent)
- Prostate Cancer
- Respiratory Cancers (including Lung Cancer)
- Soft-tissue Sarcoma (not including osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma or mesothelioma)