Agent Orange Act of 1991

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Agent Orange Act of 1991
Great Seal of the United States
Long titleAn Act to provide for the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to obtain independent scientific review of the available scientific evidence regarding associations between diseases and exposure to dioxin and other chemical compounds in herbicides, and for other purposes.
Acronyms (colloquial)AOA
NicknamesAgent Orange bill
Enacted bythe 102nd United States Congress
EffectiveFebruary 6, 1991
Public law102-4
Statutes at Large105 Stat. 11
Titles amended38 U.S.C.: Veterans' Benefits
U.S.C. sections created38 U.S.C. § 1116
U.S.C. sections amended
Legislative history

Agent Orange Act of 1991 establishes provisions for the National Academy of Sciences to analyze and summarize scientific evidence regarding presumptive military service exposure to defoliants, dioxins, and herbicides, better known as Agent Orange, during the Vietnam War era. The United States Statute endorses an observation of human medical conditions directly related to non-Hodgkin lymphoma, soft-tissue sarcoma, chloracne, and consistent acneform diseases for military personnel who served in the overseas Vietnamese region. The Act of Congress ratifies a medical research compilation of voluntarily contributed blood and tissue samples provided by Vietnam-era veterans serving in Southeast Asia between 1961 and 1975.

The H.R. 556 legislation was passed by the 102nd United States Congressional session and enacted into law by the 41st President of the United States George H. W. Bush on February 6, 1991.[1][2]


On March 20, 1979, President Jimmy Carter issued Proclamation 4647 acknowledging the Memorial Day week of May 28 through June 3, 1979 as Vietnam Veterans Week, 1979.[3][4]

Agent Orange Study of 1979
On December 6, 1979, the 96th United States Congress passed H.R. 3892, better known as Veterans Health Programs Extension and Improvement Act of 1979.[5] The Title 38 amendment, better known as Title III: Veterans' Administration Medical Personnel Amendments and Miscellaneous Provisions, was enacted into law by the 39th President of the United States Jimmy Carter on December 20, 1979. House Bill 3892 endorsed the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to conduct an epidemiological study concerning human exposure and the adverse health effects of dioxins and phenoxy herbicides.[6] The persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic substances protocol was subject to approval by the Office of Technology Assessment as stated in the provisions of the H.R. 3892 legislation.[7]

The 96th United States Senate passed bill S. 2096 sanctioning the Agent Orange study to be conducted by the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.[8] On January 2, 1980, President Jimmy Carter vetoed the Senate bill due to the repetitive purpose of the Section 307a1 provisions as stated in House bill 3892.[9]

See also[edit]

1990 Chemical Weapons Accord Napalm
Chemical Corps Operation Ranch Hand
Chemical Weapons Convention Operation Rolling Thunder
Fairchild C-123 Provider Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
Geneva Protocol Paris Peace Accords
Herbicidal warfare Project AGILE
I Corps of South Vietnam Radiation exposure
III Corps of South Vietnam Scorched earth
Jungle warfare UH-1 Iroquois Utility Helicopter
Mekong Delta United States chemical weapons program
Mobile Riverine Force United States herbicidal warfare research

Chemistry of Defoliants and Herbicides

2,4-D Naphthenic acid
2,4,5-T Palmitic acid
Cacodylic acid PCDD
Dioxin Picloram
Diquat TCDD


  1. ^ Bush, George H.W. (February 6, 1991). "Statement on Signing the Agent Orange Act of 1991 - February 6, 1991". Internet Archive. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Service. pp. 114–115.
  2. ^ Bush, George H.W. (February 6, 1991). "Remarks on Signing the Veterans' Compensation Amendments of 1991 and the Agent Orange Act of 1991 - February 6, 1991". Internet Archive. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Service. pp. 112–113.
  3. ^ "Jimmy Carter, Proclamation 4647 - Vietnam Veterans Week, 1979". The American Presidency Project ~ John Woolley and Gerhard Peters. University of California - Santa Barbara. March 20, 1979.
  4. ^ Carter, Jimmy E. (May 30, 1979). "Vietnam Veterans Week, 1979". Internet Archive. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Service. pp. 972–975.
  5. ^ "Veterans Health Programs Extension and Improvement Act of 1979 - P.L. 96-151" (PDF). 93 Stat. 1092 ~ House Bill 3892. U.S. Government Publishing Office. December 20, 1979.
  6. ^ "H.R. 3892 ~ Veterans Health Programs Extension and Improvement Act of 1979". P.L. 96-151 ~ 93 Stat. 1092. May 2, 1979.
  7. ^ Hansen, John C. (January 1, 1981). "The Vietnam Veteran vs. Agent Orange: The War That Lingers" (PDF). U.S. GAO. U.S. Government Accountability Office. p. 32.
  8. ^ "S. 2096 ~ Agent Orange Study of 1979". December 20, 1979.
  9. ^ Carter, Jimmy E. (January 2, 1980). "Veto of Legislation Requiring a Study of Health Effects of Dioxin Exposure: Message to the Senate Returning S. 2096 Without Approval - January 2, 1980". Internet Archive. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Service. pp. 4–5.

Title 38 amendments and associated statutes[edit]

U.S. Congressional amendments to Title 38 regarding veterans' military benefits as related to the adverse effects of Agent Orange and exposure to dioxins.

U.S. Statutes Related to Veterans' Military Benefits
Enactment Date Public Law U.S. Statute U.S. Bill U.S. President
December 20, 1979 P.L. 96-151 93 Stat. 1092 H.R. 3892 Jimmy Carter
November 3, 1981 P.L. 97-72 95 Stat. 1047 H.R. 3499 Ronald Reagan
October 24, 1984 P.L. 98-542 98 Stat. 2725 H.R. 1961 Ronald Reagan
December 6, 1989 P.L. 101-201 103 Stat. 1795 S. 892 George H.W. Bush
December 18, 1989 P.L. 101-237 103 Stat. 2062 H.R. 901 George H.W. Bush
November 2, 1994 P.L. 103-452 108 Stat. 4783 H.R. 3313 William J. Clinton

United States oversight of chemical weapons[edit]

Periodical bibliography[edit]

Reading bibliography[edit]

Publications regarding Agent Orange Exposure

Historical video archive[edit]

External links[edit]