"Health Status of Vietnam Veterans III. Reproductive Outcomes and Child Health" (1988), by the US Centers for Disease Control
In 1988, the US Centers for Disease Control published 'Health Status of Vietnam Veterans III. Reproductive Outcomes and Child Health,' which summarized part of the results of the Vietnam Experience Study commissioned by US Congress to assess the health of US Vietnam veterans. They published the article in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The most heavily used herbicide in the Vietnam, Agent Orange, had previously been found to contain a contaminant linked to birth defects in rats. By comparing the health of Vietnam War veterans exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam to those serving elsewhere, researchers determined that veterans who served within Vietnam more frequently reported health problems for themselves and their children, but were not at increased risk of fathering children with birth defects. Later studies overturned that latter conclusion and definitively linked Agent Orange exposure to later birth defects. The article represented the first attempt by the US government to ascertain the full risk of birth defects posed by Agent Orange, which eventually culminated in 1997 when the US Veterans Administration compensating the families of Vietnam veterans for Agent Orange-related birth defects.