Colonel Allan E. Limburg, CVO.(Retd)
29 Threadbow Crescent
5th April, 2004
Mrs. Diana Buckland
Australian Chemical Trauma Alliance
Global Recognition Campaign/Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
4 Mia Street
KOREAN WAR VETERANS MORTALITY STUDY REPORT
In 1997 the then Minister for Veterans Affairs rejected a KVAA request for a Mortality & Health Studies for Korean War Veterans.
Following a detailed submission prepared by Dr. John Bradley and myself he very reluctantly agreed in October 1977 to a Mortality Study to be completed in 3 years, but no Health Studies. 6.5 years later, the Mortality Study Report which was quietly released on 19.3.2004 and could be viewed at http://www.dva.gov.au/media/publicat/2003/kwmortality/Contents.htm - Since then it can be accessed on http://www.dva.gov.au/media/publicat/2003/kwmortality/Index.htm
Most surprisingly, despite its dramatic, disturbing conclusions in which the Korean Report reveals elevated causes of death significantly higher than those in the Vietnam Veterans Mortality Study Report, it appears to have received little or no media coverage or political or medical comment.
One of the 3 matters requested to be examined was the effects of exposures to toxic chemicals, a subject which appears to have been deliberately ignored and downplayed, in similar fashion to its treatment in the now denigrated Royal Commission into Agent Orange, the Vietnam Veterans Mortality Study Report and the recent Report on our Gulf War Veterans for reasons which are incorrect and the poorly prepared, poorly referenced, biased Repatriation Medical Authority determination in 2001 concerning Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) aka Chemical Injury and Chemically Induced Illnesses and Diseases.
As a result of the Department of Veterans' Affairs having very little information, or it had been destroyed (of which there was evidence), the Chairman requested me, assisted by Dr. John Bradley, to prepare a series of Research Papers (finally totalling 39) for issue to each member of both committees. Despite the fact that they were dispassionate and well supported by world wide eminent scientists, doctors and others in signed statements and references, detailed archival research and signed statements from veterans there appears to be strangely no reference to them in all the many references quoted in the report.
17,813 males served in that war. For Australian Troops the Korean War was the first major conflict since the start of the ever escalating Chemical Plague, which commenced after 1945, in which these Troops were regularly exposed to a wide range of toxic chemicals. Our Troops were regularly exposed, without any precautions whatever, to a diverse, wide range of toxic chemicals, including insecticides, pesticides, miticides, herbicides, rodenticides, toxic paints, toxic pharmaceuticals, inerts, solvents, toxic petrochemicals, Radon gas, and other toxic chemicals in accordance with written instructions in the Australian, British & Canadian 1950 Army Handbook of Army Health and other instructions issued in the field, including the then secret instruction by General Ridgway for the aerial spraying of chemicals over our own troops. Our research papers listed more than 100 of the many toxic chemicals, as compared with the merely 4 or 5 listed in the Report.
In relation to the results published, I am pleased to note that the report supports our earlier suspicions that our veterans were apparently dying early in unusually large numbers. The two committees are to be complimented on the detailed results published. They reveal that veterans of that war have what appear to be dramatic increases in mortality of each of the illnesses and diseases studied as compared to a cohort of average Australian males. The results strongly vindicate the reasons for the request we made.
The report details an overall increase in mortality of 21% and an increase in cancer of 31%, with elevated rates of diseases of the circulatory system by 13%, ischemic heart disease by 10%, stroke by 17%, external causes by 37%, suicides by 31%, pulmonary disease by 49%, respiratory diseases by 45% after exclusion of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, digestive diseases by 35%, diseases of the liver, gallbladder and bile ducts by 33% and alcoholic liver disease by 36% compared to equivalent Australian males.
The figures for the army are even more alarming. Army Veterans had a 31% increased rate for all cause mortality and for 13 other causes, namely circulatory diseases were elevated by 20% with rates from ischemic heart disease and stroke elevated by 18% and 22% respectively, neoplasms by 41%, external causes by 58%, suicides by 53%, death rate from all respiratory diseases by 48%, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease by 69%, repiratory diseases excluding chronic obstructive pulmonary disease by 57%, all digestive diseases by 57%, including diseases of the liver, gallbladder and bile ducts by 51%, peptic ulcer by 90% and alcoholic liver disease elevated by 47%, compared to equivalent Australian males.
In relation to cancers the increased or elevated death rate overall for lung cancer was 47%, gastrointestinal cancer by 18%, colo-rectal cancer by 18%, genito-urinary cancer by 24%, cancers of the head and neck by 96%, cancer of the oesophagus by 59%, cancer of the larynx by 95% and cancer of unknown primary site by 5l%.
The dramatically elevated rates for cancers for the army for those listed in the previous paragraph were 69%, 24%, 22%, 90%, 82%, 67%, 144% and 77% respectively.
Despite the attempts in the Report and the Proceedings of the Committees to ignore the effects of widespread regular exposures to a wide range of toxic/neuro-toxic chemicals for reasons which are incorrect as addressed in our Research Papers and elsewhere, based on much recent peer-reviewed papers and books, it seems obvious that the common denominator behind these alarmingly high rates of death, based only on what is stated as the cause of death in the Certificate of Death, rather than the true cause of death, is due to wide, regular exposures to a diverse range of often simultaneous exposures to toxic/neurotoxic chemicals, most untested, without any precautions whatever, many since banned world-wide, with no testing whatever of the increased synergistic effects of simultaneous exposures.
Secondly, these figures provide at least indirect support to the reality of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) aka Chemical Injury and Chemically Induced Illnesses or Diseases, as a clinical disease, not of psychological or psychogenic origin.
Thirdly, as the long promised, long overdue Health Questionnaire, finally received by me on 2.04.2004, which was prepared by a paid, external body, Monash University, and, as predicted, has NOT been expanded and is NOT all embracing and does NOT include each of the symptoms of toxic chemical exposures and each of the many illnesses and diseases which result, it will clearly, no doubt deliberately, fail to address this vital issue, to the detriment of the veterans, their wives, their offspring and future generations.
Fourthly, there appears to be no recommendations concerning whether veterans of that war, and their wives, widows and children have been adequately compensated with disability pensions and proper treatment for their disabilities, which was the reason why the studies were requested. Once again, as the Health Questionnaire has NOT been adequately expanded and is NOT all embracing and does NOT include each of the symptoms of toxic chemical exposures and each of the many illnesses and diseases which result, it will undoubtedly fail to address those vital issues and veterans and their families will fail to achieve their well earned, justified entitlements.
I am convinced that only an Independent Public Inquiry by appropriate experts with an unbiased, open mind and experience and expertise in this field, with appropriate, relevant Terms of Reference, and appropriate, relevant contents in the Protocol, is essential if the role of toxic chemicals in the production of illnesses and diseases is to be adequately addressed and not deliberately ignored.
Should you and other recipients concur with the contents, it is now up to you and each of them to personally and individually take positive action, and continue the pressure to ensure that such an Independent Public Inquiry is undertaken, including distributing copies widely for others to add support to your stand. After l0 years, it is now beyond me as an individual to do so against such deliberate obfuscation and against such powerful, determined, intransigent, chemical-supportive forces, to the detriment of not only veterans, but civilians and the whole future of mankind and the world environment. The ball is now in your court.
Herewith, in support of my comments, is a copy of a paper signed on 25th February, 2004 by Professor Emeritus Malcolm Hooper, School of Sciences University of Sunderland, Chief Scientific Adviser to the Gulf Veterans' Association, UK, following his visit to my home on 1st October, 2003
Yours very sincerely,
Signed: Colonel Allan E. Limburg. CVO (Retd)
Malcolm Hooper Ph.D., B.Pharm.C.Chem.,MRIC
Emeritus Professor of Medicinal Chemistry
University of Sunderland
SUNDERLAND SR2 3SD Phone 0191 515 2501 Fax 0191 5152502
Public Relations Office 0191 5152691
Chief Scientific Adviser to the Gulf Veterans' Association
6th October, 2003
Colonel Allan E Limburg
I visited Colonel Limburg at his home in Wheelers Hill, Melbourne, today October 1stto discuss the many issues surrounding:
1. Multiple Chemical Sensitivity MCS
2. Gulf War Syndrome GWS
3. Myalgic Encephalomyelitis-Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, ME-CFS
4. Issues surrounding the exposure of soldiers to numerous toxic substances in all military campaigns going back to the Korean War of 1950-3 in which Colonel Limburg himself served with many other Australian troops.
I was delighted to find such a large number of valuable documents expertly collected and collated by Colonel Limburg on all these subjects which are known to be inter-related
See Merck Index 1999 under "Syndromes of Uncertain Origin".
I have a major interest in all these issues and have published significant papers on them all, Hooper 2000, 2001, 2003 and given a range of evidence to Parliamentary Committees, The Royal British Legion and various conferences involving the USA House of Congress, 2000, 2002.
The recent report "Allergy the Unmet Need", Royal College of Physicians, June 2003, records the huge increase in allergy in the UK with 1 person in 3 suffering some form of allergy, a total of 18 million people. Of these 18 million, some 3 million suffer from severe allergies which can be life-threatening and require emergency treatment.
Very disturbing is the recent report obtained by Colonel Limburg that describes the latest problems of troops preparing for and serving in Gulf War 2, 2003. There have been a number of sudden deaths, of very healthy and fit young people, from pneumonia-like illnesses that are characterized by eosinophilia in the lungs that is a marker for a severe allergic reaction, almost certainly involving the massive vaccination programme imposed on military personnel, with anthrax and smallpox vaccines being the main suspects. The refusal to acknowledge the possible role of extensive vaccines administered to the USA troops betrays an official unwillingness to properly investigate the possible cause of this fatal condition. Reports from the battlefield of troops dying or sent back to the USA with a similar "pneumonia" again sometimes fatal once show how soldiers today are still suffering from toxic and damaging exposures, WorldNetDaily, 2003.
Colonel Limburg has charted the course of toxic exposures suffered by many soldiers. He has developed an impressive understanding of the toxic effects of numerous toxic chemicals that are increasingly recognized as causing severe and in some cases life-threatening, adverse health effects. In particular, he has drawn attention to the long-term chronic effects of these exposures.
Colonel Limburg not only understands the toxic nature of many substances going back to the Korean War but is able to describe his personal experience about the way in which exposures occurred. The combination of personal experience and clear understanding makes his testimony very powerful. It needs to be listened to very carefully and used as a basis for action that leads to the improved care and support for sick veterans from the Korean, Persian Gulf and other wars.
I was particularly taken by his account of the way in which many soldiers were exposed to toxic fumes from heaters made to afford some warmth in the dug-outs in the Korean War. The intense cold required the troops to make their own homemade heaters and to drape blankets over the dugouts. In the morning men emerged with their faces covered in soot having inhaled fumes from the inefficient heaters that involved kerosene being dropped on to hot plates. The absence of ventilation and an atmosphere heavy with soot particles and free radicals derived from the incomplete combustion of the kerosene provided what we now know to be a dangerously toxic level of carcinogens and lung toxins. Inhalation of these compounds would seriously damage the lungs become apparent many years later in lung diseases, asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and lung cancer. It is noteworthy that the greatest concerns about the inhalation of motor vehicle exhaust fumes is with the organic particulates that closely resemble those inhaled by the troops in Korea. Furthermore, the construction of bunkers and dugouts in the granite of the area almost certainly meant that lack of ventilation exposed some troops to high levels of radon gas, a known carcinogen that increases the risk of lung disease in granite regions.
Colonel Limburg's work has, thoroughly and helpfully, identified the wide range of toxic exposures suffered by soldiers and other military personnel in modern warfare - from the war in Korea to the present day. He catalogues the main toxins together with the adverse health results arising from them. This information is accurate and reliable and extremely difficult to find in the literature. Much careful research is needed to uncover the complex mixtures of compounds used as pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, rodenticides and insect repellants etc.. All of which is meticulously and professionally cross-referenced and archived - a veritable goldmine of information.
Increasingly, it is clear that the chemical industry has released into the environment large numbers of novel compounds that have not been investigated for their toxicological properties either as single compounds or in combination with other active compounds or the so-called "inerts".
Latest estimates show that more than 30,000 such compounds are widely distributed in the UK - Royal Commission on Pollution, 24th Report, 2003. Some estimates from the USA suggest that in that country as many as 80,000 untested novel compounds are in widespread use.
Since 1962 and earlier, the whole world has been aware of the problems associated with novel pesticides, Rachel Carson - Silent Spring, 1962. The use, without serious testing data, has grown unchecked since the 1950's. Especially important is the extent of synergism between the different components of formulated products and the concurrent use of different chemical groups of compounds.
I am aware of the controversy that attaches to any work in these areas especially when official views are being challenged. Colonel Limburg has shown how very inadequate these official views are and has skillfully compiled evidence from the literature to show how much published and peer-reviewed research demonstrates that many compounds that have been introduced into modern usage are known to be dangerously toxic especially when used under the conditions frequently found in modern warfare and particularly so in the Korean and Persian Gulf wars.
It is clear that Colonel Limburg has encountered official denials, obfuscations and deceptions that characterize so many official responses to the kind of information he has collected and so carefully interprets.
The Vietnam Veterans in the USA took 20 years to have the adverse health effects of Agent Orange recognized and to receive the necessary care and support for their personal and family needs.
Only in 1999 (8 years after the war concluded) was an Act of Congress passed in the USA that recognized Gulf War Syndrome and allowed the presumption of Gulf War Service behind the chronic illnesses that have developed in up to one-third of all Persian Gulf War Veterans, Persian Gulf War Compensation Act, 1999. Officialdom has a way of demeaning, denigrating and ignoring the suffering of soldiers whose only fault was in serving the needs and call of their country for which many have paid a very high price in terms of personal and family health. In the UK the story of the Gulf War Veterans, GWVs, has been well told in a recent book, "Ministries of Deception: cover-ups in Whitehall, Slessor, 2002. The title says it all. I was disappointed to find the same attitudes prevailing in Australia. These attitudes appear to be longstanding and have been powerfully exposed by Colonel Limburg's work and knowledge. He needs to be listened to and his work acted upon in the interests of the health of all military and civilian personnel.
MCS is clearly a recognized and defined condition and has been given an ICD code, T 78.4, Allergy otherwise not specified, in Germany. The USA and Canada have recognized the condition for a wide variety of legal and health and safety reasons and specifically state that "Claimants should not be dismissed as psychogenic and a thorough workup is essential".
A consensus report by 89 Physicians, University of Illinois at Chicago, 200l, defines MCS as a chronic condition in which symptoms:-
The attempt to label MCS, Gulf War Syndrome and ME-CFS as psychiatric illnesses that do not have any organic basis has been orchestrated and organized on a global scale as described in a recent book, "Skewed: psychiatric hegemony and the manufacture of mental illness" by Martin Walker, 2003.
An especially disturbing feature of some toxins is the impact on reproductive biology, increases in birth defects and childhood cancers which have been reported among the children of GWVs and among the children of Iraq following Gulf War 1. These include heart defects, urinogenital defects and pholcomelia (shortened limbs). Endocrine disrupters that disturb reproductive biology are known to alter the ratio of male and female in a population at Seveso N.Italy. There is continuing alarm at the reduction of sperm counts in many populations in the developed world.
Colonel Limburg's research has uncovered and reinforced the growing knowledge of MCS, which is now a major issue in the developed world and making a significant and adverse impact on the health of many in the developing world.
I am happy to commend Colonel Limburg's studies and research to all those concerned for, and involved in, the health of the soldier and civilians exposed to modern chemical toxins. Studies in this field will be helped considerably by accessing his extensive archives and by spending time learning from his experience and expert judgment on these matters which are of considerable importance for global health in this new Century.
Ashford, AN and Miller CS Chemical Exposures: Low Levels and High Stakes, 2nd Edition, John Wiley, New York 1998.
BSAENM British Society for Allergy, Environmental and Nutritional Medicine. Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: Recognition and Management. Eaton KK, Anthony HM (moderators).
British Society for Allergy, Environmental and Nutritional Medicine, Knighton, 2000. See also www.bsaenm.org.uk
Carson R Silent Spring. Hamish Hamilton, 1962.
Gravelling RA, Pilkington A, George JPK, Butler MP, Tannahill SN A Review of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Occup. Environ. Med. 1999:56:73-85.
Hooper M. Engaging with ME Towards understanding, Diagnosis and Treatment. Available from Professor M. Hooper, School of Sciences, Fleming Building, University of Sunderland, Sunderland SR2 7EE, price 4.60 English Pounds incl. postage and packing.
Hooper M. IAG- a marker molecule for dietary intervention in Overlapping Syndromes. J Nutrition Practitioner 2000, 2.35-36
Hooper M. The Most Toxic War in Western Military History. Evidence submitted to the House of Commons Select Defence Committee, December, 1999. Published in 7th Report of Defence Select Committee Gulf Veterans' Illnesses. Report and proceedings of the Committee with Minutes of Evidence and Appendices, April 19th 2000.
House of Representatives, 106th Congress Session. Persian Gulf War Syndrome Compensation Act of 1999, H.R. 2697 "A specific chronic symptom from which a covered Persian Gulf Veteran with Persian Gulf War Syndrome is suffering shall be considered to be a disease or disability incurred or aggravated by service in active military, naval, or air service, notwithstanding that there is no record of evidence of such chronic symptom during the period of such service".
Marshall EP, Williams M, Hooper M. What is ME? What is CFS? - Information for Clinicians and Lawyers, 2001. Available from http://www.meactionuk.org.uk/ or from Professor M. Hooper, School of Life Sciences, Fleming Building, University of Sunderland, Chester Road, Sunderland SR2 3SD Price 3 English Pounds.
Merck Manual, Millennium Edition, Merck Sharpe and Dohme, 1999.
Royal College of Physicians, Allergy the Unmet Need, a blueprint for better patient care Chairman Stephen Holgate, Royal College of Physicians, London, 2003.
Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, 24th Report, Chemicals in Products: safeguarding the environment and human health. Chairman Sir Tom Blundell HMSO Cm 5827. London, 2003.
Slessor T. Ministries of Deception: Cover-ups in Whitehall, Aurum Press, London 2002.
University of Illinois at Chicago. Center on Emergent Disability. Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS), 2001 download from http://www.uic.edu/depts/idhd/ced/emergent_conditions/mcs.htm
Walker M. Skewed: psychiatric hegemony and the manufacture of mental illness. Slingshot Publications, London, 2003 ISBN 0-9519646-4-X
WorldDailyNet, September 16th 2003. Mystery deaths fuel vaccine anxieties. Download from http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/printer-friendly.asp?ARTICLE_ID=34608
Signed: MALCOLM HOOPER 25th February, 2004.
Buckland, 4 Mia Street, Kallangur, 4503, Queensland, Australia
Representative of Australian Chemical Trauma Alliance
Global Recognition Campaign/Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
www.ehponline.org/press (Environmental Health Perspectives - more than 12% of population reports extreme sensitivity to common chemicals)
http://www.universityofhealth.net/PR/3304PRUSNOMHearing.htm (Mercury warning)
http://www.dragonfleye.org/envir.htm (School Environmental Health Policy)
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