A new white paper from a legal clinic at Yale Law School and a nonprofit dedicated to veterans has concluded that veterans were likely exposed to Agent Orange while working on Guam between 1962 and 1975.

Civil Beat reported two years ago that a federal report found no evidence that military service members were exposed to Agent Orange on Guam. That report said that while Agent Orange was on ships that stopped on Guam, there was no evidence that the dangerous chemical was unloaded.

The new analysis by Veterans Legal Services Clinic at Yale Law School and the National Veterans Legal Services Program disputes that conclusion. According to a press release, the report “is based on an exhaustive review conducted over nearly two years of government, private, archival, and oral history evidence of herbicide use in Guam during the Vietnam era.”

What’s at stake is the ability for veterans who believe their illnesses are related to Agent Orange exposure to get access to federal health care benefits. A group of veterans has spent years organizing and advocating for recognition and Congress is paying attention.

Apart from Agent Orange, military environmental waste has long plagued Guam and the other islands in the Marianas archipelago, Civil Beat reported in our 2016 series.

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