COPYRIGHT - Colonel A.E.Limburg,CVO,(RL) - 1.12.1997 : Warning : This material is provided for information only and may not be copied without the written permission of Colonel A.E.Limburg, 1.12.1997.












" New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without

any other reason but because they are not already common."- John Locke


" Surely there is always that in experience Which could warn us; and the worst

That can be said of any of us is :He did not pay attention. " -William Meredith


Introduction :


This is one of a series of research papers prepared at the request of Major General Stevens, Chairman of the Study Committee for the Korean War Veterans Mortality and Health Study Committee by Colonel Allan E. Limburg,CVO, US LoH CFC, (Retd),  Dip Bus Adm,MBIM,AFAIM,AIBA, jssc,im,psc, writer, author and military and medical researcher; with the assistance of Dr John M. Bradley,MD,FRACP,FRCR,FRACR and the members of the independent Korean Veterans' Mortality & Health Study Committee, on behalf of Korean War veterans. Most of the material is taken from a wide variety of sources, including books, journals, papers, medical documents, the Internet and Medline, each of which may well be copyright, as is the contents of these papers. Reference will be made to all sources in research paper KVM&HSC 16, while many references will be listed in this particular paper.


While in this copy, produced in 2004, there are some minor corrections and updates and some changes in terminology and layout from the original produced in 1997,  which because DVA had virtually no relevant information on the war,  was produced at the request of the Repatriation Commissioner and Chairman of the Study Committee, Major General Stevens, for issue to each member of both committees for them to vote on the contents and advise any suggestions for changes to me and Dr Bradley it is fundamentally the same as the original.


The subjects of  1. UNUSUAL CONDITIONS OF SEVERE COMBAT and  2. EXPOSURE TO MANY ENDEMIC  DISEASES & UNSANITARY, UNHEALTHY, ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS OF JAPAN & KOREA, while mentioned in this research paper, will be dealt with particularly, in greater detail, in research papers KVM&HSC14 and KVM&HSC4.


Please note that while much detail will be included on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)  and Multi Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) diseases the main thrust of this paper is about all the toxic effects, illnesses and diseases than can flow from regular small or large exposure to each and every one of the chemicals etc. listed, in their own individual right, quite apart from the many added illnesses and diseases that flow from their synergistic effects and the development of all the many medical problems associated with both CFS and MCS.


Total Research Papers Produced at Request of Chairman of Study Committee :


2004 Update - For ease of reference this research was presented in the following related research papers, including all subsequent 24 addendums to the 16 major original research papers  -  a total of 1,355 pages of requested, well supported, world-wide, research work, all of which surprisingly gets no reference in the recently published Korean War Veterans Mortality Study Report and it appears that, contrary to the stated reason from the Chairman as to why he requested it,  it seems abundantly clear that all that effort has  been  quietly swept under the carpet and confined to the waste paper bin. Each of those research papers, requested by the Chairman of the Committee, was, as agreed, forwarded to DVA for copying and issuing to each member of both committees so that they could vote on the contents and advise any changes to the authors for amendment. It does appear that no votes were taken on any of the contents and certainly no recommendations for changes or further research were forthcoming.


            1. KVM&HSC1, Introduction, including: (1) Unusual Conditions of Severe Combat, (2) Exposure to many Endemic Diseases and Unsanitary, Unhealthy, Environmental Conditions of Japan & Korea, &  (3) Regular, Simultaneous Exposures to a Wide Range of  Toxic Chemicals. 1.12.1997. 32 pages. 

            2. KVM&HSC2, Applicable Legislative Principles, Intentions & Rationale and Repatriation Medical Authority (RMA) and their Statements of Principles (SOP's). 15.12.1997. 41 pages.

            3. ADDENDUM 1 TO KVM&HSC 2,  Additional Comments on RMA and its SoP’s and RMA 1998 Concensus Conference - Stress & Challenge, Health & Disease. 22.10.1998. 21 pages + 5 attachments of a total of 20 pages.

            4. KVM&HSC3, Abbreviations & Glossary, 16.12.1997. 10 pages.

            5. KVM&HSC4, Endemic Diseases and Unusual & Unsanitary, Unhealthy, Environmental  Conditions in Japan and Korea in the Korean War to which Australian Troops non-immune bodies were regularly exposed and Supporting Medical and Archival Extracts. 1.12.1997, 27 pages

            6. ADDENDUM 1 TO KVM&HSC 4, Endemic Diseases etc - Supporting Medical Archival Extracts. 12.10.1998, 14 pages + 51 attachments of a total of  102 pages. 

            7. ADDENDUM 2 TO KVM&HSC 4, Endemic Diseases etc. 11.10.1998, 1 page + 3 pages of illustrative photos.

            8. ADDENDUM 3 TO KVAAM&HSC 4 , Endemic diseases etc - Some more supportive Medical Archival Extracts. 11.10.1998, 9 pages.

            9. KVAAM&HSC5, List of at least 160 Toxic Chemicals to which Korean Veterans were regularly exposed and Synergistic Effects, inluding resultant Damage to Immune & other bodily systems and Illnesses  & Diseases. 1.12.1997. 47 pages + 5 attachments of a total of  36 pages. 

             10. ADDENDUM 1 TO KVM&HSC 5, Additional Evidence Supporting Damage to Immune & other bodily systems and Illnesses  & Diseases from exposures to Toxic Chemicals. 5.10.1998. 2 pages + 3 attachments of a total of  3 pages.

            11. ADDENDUM 2 TO KVM&HSC 5 ,  Addtional Evidence Supporting Debilitating Effects of Toxic Chemicals on Korean, Vietnam and Gulf War Veterans and Genetic Disorders in Their Children. Not just Cancer. Not just DDT. Not just Grog & Cigarettes. 17.10.1998. 10 pages + 24 attachments of a total of  49 pages

            12.  ADDENDUM 3 TO KVM&HSC5, Addtional Archival Evidence Supporting Debilitating Effects of Toxic Chemicals on Korean, Vietnam and Gulf War Veterans and Genetic Disorders in Their Children.  15.10.1998. 10 pages + 5 attachments of a total of 36 pages. 

            13. KVM&HSC6, List of 21 Supporting Medical Statements & Articles by Experts in this field. 18.12.1997. 29 pages + 21 attachments of a total of  83 pages.

            14. ADDENDUM 1 TO KVM&HSC6, List of Additional Transcripts of Articles Delevered at Annual Conferences of the Australian Chemical Trauma Alliance (ACTA). 18.8.1998. 2 pages + 3 attachments of a total of  33 pages.

            15. ADDENDUM 2 TO KVM&HSC 6, Statement Supporting Contents of Research Papers KVM&HSC 1 - 16 and All Addendums to those Papers by a Professional Chemist after Detailed Study over several weeks of Contents. 24.10.1998. 5 pages + 1 attachment of a total of  5 pages.

            16. KVM&HSC7, Precedent Cases and Questionnaire Results. 23.12.1998. 18 pages + 28 attachments of a total of  44 pages. 

            17. ADDENDUM 1 TO KVM&HSC 7. Consolidated Results of Recent UK Korean Veterans Health Questionaire. 3.9.1998. 2 pages. 

            18. KVM&HSC8, 23 Signed Supporting Statements by Veterans. 26.12.1998. 18 pages + 23 signed attachments of a total of  64 pages. 

            19.  ADDENDUM 1 TO KVM&HSC 8, 23.9.1998. Signed  Statement by Captain Barbara Ann Probyn-Smith, RAANC (Retd), dated 23 September 1998. 3 pages + 1 signd statement of 7 pages + 3 attachments of a total of 3 pages.

            20.  ADDENDUM 2 TO KVM&HSC 8, 17 Additional Signed Supporting Statements from Veterans. 20.10.1998. 8 pages plus 17 attachments of a total of  30  pages.

            21. ADDENDUM 3 TO KVM&HSC 8, Signed Statement by Lieutenant Edita Eveline Gamble (nee Martin),PhC,MPS,RAAMC (Retd) datd 30 October 1998. 20.10.1998. 3 pages + 1 signed statement of  7 pages + 5 attachments of a total of  5 pages.

            22. KVM&HSC9, Exposure Data Measurement, Army Instructions & Simultaneous Regular Exposure to Cocktail of  Toxic Chemicals in Confined Unventilated, Underground Bunkers. 5.1.1998. 28 pages.

            23. KVM&HSC10, Symptoms of  Exposures to Toxic Chemicals.7.1.1998. 7 pages + 5 attachments of a total of 10 pages. 

            24. ADDENDUM 1 TO KVM&HSC10, Blood Symptoms of Chemical Poisoning. 7.8.1998. 2 pages + 5 attachments of a total of 11 pages.

            25. ADDENDUM 2 TO KVM&HSC10, Some Objective Tests for Chemical Poisoning, Chemical Injury & Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. 16.8.1998. 4 pages. 

            26. ADDENDUM 3 TO KVM&HSC10, Blood Symptoms of Chemical Poisoning. Acceptance of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity by DVA Canada, Acceptance of Regular Exposure of Korean Veterans to so many Toxic Chemicals during the Korean War. 22.10.1998. 2 pages + 2 attachments of a total of  3 pages.

            27. KVM&HSC11, Medical & Scientific Resistance. Attitudes of Conservative  Doctors and Medical Professionals to Toxic Chemicals. 30.12.1997. 40 pages + 6 attachments of a total of 32 pages.

            28. ADDENDUM 1 TO KVM&HSC 11. Selection of “Experts” on Scientific Advisory Committee, Dubious Methodologies & Protocols Applied to Korean Studies. Attitudes of Conservative Doctors, Scientists & Medical Professionals to Chemical Injury, Chemical Sensitivity & Multiple Chemical Sensitivity.   30.11.1998.  20 pages + 11 attachments of a total of  42  pages.

            29. KVM&HSC12, Tests for Effects of Toxic Chemicals. 10.1.1998. 13 pages. 

            30.  ADDENDUM 1 TO KVM&HSC12, Some Objective Tests for Chemical Poisoning, Chemical Injury, Chemical Sensitivity & Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. 16.8.1998. 4 pages  + 3 attachments of a total of  20 pages. 

            31. ADDENDUM 2 TO KVM&HSC12 , Some Objective Tests for Chemical Poisoning, Chemical Injury & Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Part 2. 25.11.1998. 2 pages + 2 attachments of a total of 3 pages.

            32. KVM&HSC13, Illnesses and Diseases from Effects of Unusual Conditions of Severe Combat in the Korean War. 10.1.1998. 31 pages + 1 attachment of a total of 2 pages.

            33. ADDENDUM 1 TO KVM&HSC 13, Illnesses and Diseases from Effects of Unusual Conditions of Severe Combat in the Korean War - Additional Information. 17.10.1998. 6 pages + 16 attachments of a total of  24 pages.

            34. KVM&HSC14, Illnesses and Diseases from Effects of Exposure to many Endemic Diseases & Unsanitary, Unhealthy, Environmental Conditions of Japan & Korea  in the Korean War. 8.1.1998. 27 pages. 

            35. KVM&HSC15, Illnesses and Diseases from Effects of  Regular, Simultaneous Exposures to a wide range of  Toxic Chemicals - Insecticides, Pesticides, Herbicides, Weedicides, Rodenticides, Miticides, Solvents, Paints, Carcinogens, Radiation, Pharmaceutical Drugs, Petrochemicals and Radon gas which could have caused Permanent Damage to Regulation of Immune & Other Bodily Systems resulting in a wide range of  Serious Symptoms, Illnesses & Diseases in Korean War. 5.1.1998. 28 pages.

            36. ADDENDUM 1 TO KVM&HSC 15, Rare Disease Kills Canadian Navy Korean Veterans. 1.9.1998. 4 pages + 2 attachments of a total of 2 pages. 

            37. ADDENDUM 2 TO KVM&HSC 15, Acceptance of MCS as a Disease in these Studies whether or not it has an ICD Code Number.            30.9.1998. 10 pages.

            38. ADDENDUM 3 TO KVM&HSC 15, MCS a Plague of a Different Kind. 5.10.1998. 7 pages. 39. ADDENDUM 4 TO KVM&HSC 15, Acceptance of  MCS as a Disease in these Studies whether or not it has an ICD Code Number - Paper 2. 5.10.1998. 2 pages plus 1 attachment of 2 pages.

            40. KVM&HC16, Just Some Reference Material. 8.1.1998. 125 pages including attachments. 


Background :


It is only in recent years that it has become increasingly apparent in Australia, the UK and Canada, that, as a direct result of their war service,  too many veterans of the Korean War have died early deaths, of those still living too many are suffering in confusion from a wide range of illnesses and severely debilitating symptoms unknown to their untrained doctors, and too many veterans and widows have not been granted justly deserved pensions, medical treatment, welfare etc to which they are entitled under legislation that has existed for 70 or 80 years with the support of all political persuasions and the general public.


From the 8 years research information provided by Ashley Cunningham-Boothe,MBE,MSA,MPM, FIB,FIPM,FDA,MIPA, Life Vice President of BKVA in the UK; from our own initial medical research in the recent case in WA (his widow, finally, after a long and protracted battle with DVA by the author and Dr Bradley, was finally granted a War Widows pension); from the results of research by Mr Les Peate,CD, CEO of KVA Canada, including the precedent case of James Cotter, RCR; from research of medical books and official histories of the Korean War; supported by many individual signed statements from those of  who served in Korea, and doctors and scientists; and from research of Internet, Medline, and a plethora of literature on the subject of toxic chemicals it seems quite clear that too many Korean veterans have died too early and suffered unknowingly, undiagnosed by their untrained  doctors  from :

            a. Illnesses and Diseases from effects of Unusual Conditions of Severe Combat in the Korean War, Battlefield Strain and Stress and PTSD,

            b. Illnesses and Diseases from effects of Exposure to many unusual Epidemic Diseases & Unsatisfactory, Unhealthy, Environmental Conditions of Japan & Korea  in the Korean War, and

            c. Illnesses and diseases from the effects of regular exposures to a wide cocktail of toxic chemicals, when Australian troops' heads, necks, skin, clothing and respiratory systems and living quarters and underground bunkers were regularly exposed to a whole range of toxic chemicals, pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, weedicides, rodenticides, miticides, solvents, paints, carcinogens, radiation, irradiation, radon gas, pharmaceutical drugs and petro-chemicals etc, and from other disease and illness causing substances and equipments and which were the CAUSE of  a wide range of debilitating symptoms, long lasting and disastrous effects on the veterans' health, PERMANENT DAMAGE to :

             a. the  REGULATION of their IMMUNE and other bodily systems,

             b. their endocrine systems,

             c. their allergic responses,

             d. their adrenal systems,

             e. their neurological and central nervous systems,

             f. toxic brain syndromes,

             g. autoimmune deficiencies,

             h. severe Multi Chemical Sensitivity,

             i. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome,

             j. chemical toxicity,

             k. stored xenobiotics in their bodies,

             l. and a host of other serious, long term, medical disorders; including cancer, leukaemia, blood diseases, arthritis, heart problems, KEH fever, renal health problems, respiratory problems, other illnesses and fevers of unknown origins (PUO) and mystery illnesses,

             m. the CAUSE of which, in many cases apparently, was the PERMANENT DAMAGE TO REGULATION OF THEIR IMMUNE AND OTHER BODILY SYSTEMS resulting from exposure to so many deadly chemicals etc.



* Please note that although there may be some inaccuracies in some of the contents, they should not detract from the thrust of the paper. Further research is continually being done. The toxicity, toxic chemicals properties, biodegradability, bioaccumulation and increased build up in the body, half lifes, synergy (increased effects with other chemicals), cancer causing properties, genotoxicity, teratogenicity, mutagenicity (permanent effects on DNA of offspring), poly-exposures, side effects of pharmaceutical drugs, and long latency periods of some chemicals etc are yet to fully researched. The contents of this have been studied and accepted by  Dr J.M.Bradley, MD, FRACP,FRCR,FRACR, a medical officer who served in Korea as RMO, 3RAR.*





In the letter prepared by myself and Dr Bradley addressed to The Hon Bruce Scott, Minister for Veterans' Affairs, dated 8 September 1997, we stated :





" The purpose of this letter is to respectfully request that you kindly reconsider your decision as stated in Reference c, (in which he rejected the request for studies) and now agree to conduct an immediate Mortality & Health Study for Australian veterans of the Korean War for the many  reasons stated in this letter.





" As the main reason stated by you (apparently surprisingly based on statements from the National Body of the RSL and its then President who were opposed to the studies, in like manner to their opposition to the Vietnam studies ) for your rejection of our request for an immediate Mortality & Health Study was " the SIMILARITY OF EXPERIENCE, particularly with regard to chemicals and other NON-BATTLE HAZARDS of veterans of the Korean and Vietnam operations is STRIKING, " we have further researched this matter since our letter to you dated 20 July, in which we rejected not only that, but all other reasons  for your rejection. We will now state just SOME of the many unusual aspects of the Korean as compared to other wars, in particular the Vietnam War. We do this with great reluctance, as we do not wish, in any way to denigrate the veterans of that or other wars in any way.”  (but we were forced to do so due to the stated main reason for rejection).


" We will now state just SOME of the many unusual aspects of the Korean as compared to other wars, in particular the Vietnam War. 


" Rear Admiral Crawford, Chairman of the Korean War Memorial Committee had this to say in " Mufti, " dated June 1997 - " Let there be no doubt that this ( KOREAN war ) was a war by any standard and NOT a 'brush-fire' affair or a peacekeeping operation. It was a BRUTAL WAR, fought in the MOST APPALLING CONDITIONS," and - " The AUSTRALIAN CASUALTY RATE taking account of the numbers committed and the three years of combat operations is SECOND ONLY TO THE FIRST WORLD WAR."


" It was the FIRST TIME IN AUSTRALIA'S MILITARY HISTORY when troops were REGULARLY EXPOSED to such a VERY WIDE RANGE of toxic chemicals, pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, solvents, pharmaceutical drugs and petro-chemicals, many ONLY DEVELOPED SINCE 1945,  in accordance with OFFICIAL, WRITTEN ARMY INSTRUCTIONS, WITHOUT ANY ESSENTIAL PROTECTIVE PRECAUTIONS TAKEN.  All or most of those many toxic substances are now banned.


" In the 22 months of close contact, TRENCH warfare, similar to that in France in the FIRST WORLD WAR, our Infantry troops, in close contact and under close observation, were outnumbered 2 to 1 by professional, battle hardened Chinese troops and SUBJECTED REGULARLY to INTENSE MORTAR, ARTILLERY, MACHINE GUN and rifle fire. This was in marked contrast to the conditions experienced by Vietnam veterans.


" It was correctly, widely stated  that " If the Australian army wanted to choose a country in the world in the early 1950's that would expose their troops to the GREATEST SHORT AND LONG TERM HEALTH RISKS, Korea would have headed the list." One Australian army medical officer described it as " faecal country." One British General  (pre Paul Keating) termed it " The Arsehole of the World."  Conditions for our Air Force and Navy personnel were just as severe and just as unusual. 77 Squadron RAAF, ably supported by ground-based staff and units, flew air to ground and air to air attack missions over rugged terrain in often hazardous weather conditions. The RAN was also committed to a range of tasks, including close in-shore gunfire support, patrol duties and ground attack missions by aircraft from HMAS Sydney, particularly hazardous from ice and snow covered deck in winter and often mountainous seas.


" Major General Kingsley Norris, Director General of Medical Services, is reputed to have stated - " Korea has every germ imaginable."


" Doctors, medical  and hygiene staff in the Korean War were generally untrained and without battlefield experience, as attested to in the official history and statements in our possession. This is apparently markedly different to the situation that existed in Vietnam.


" Unlike Vietnam, Australian battalions in Korea had NO Australian medical units in support of them. They were evacuated through any combination of American, Indian, Canadian, British or Belgian Field Ambulances, Casualty Clearing Stations, Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals and base medical units, including 26 Fd Amb RAMC, 37 Fd Amb RCAMC, 60 Indian Para Fd Amb, 25 CDN FDS RCAMC, 25 CDN FST RCAMC, 25 CDN FT RCAMC, Medical Company  7th US Regiment, BCOF Gen Hospital, Kure, Japan, Norwegian Hospital, RAAF Hospital, Iwakuni, Japan, with evacuation by jeep, truck, helicopter, train, plane or ship, making the obtaining of subsequent essential medical  documentation and statistics on illnesses and diseases almost an impossibility, as attested to in army archives in our possession. For the first few months of the war and subsequently, the evacuation of casualties was by the American chain of evacuation, with some Australian casualties evacuated to Pusan or an American Hospital in Tokyo, Japan.


" Unlike the Vietnam War, where medical documentation for casualties and illnesses and diseases appears to have been very thorough and is listed in great detail in O'Keefe's book, with the exception of details of those killed or wounded, there is almost a complete absence of any documentation whatever for all the illnesses and diseases suffered by Australians in Korea, or subsequently and details of all the toxic toxic chemicals used during that war. This is confirmed by our detailed research attempts of Australian, British, Canadian and Indian sources. It does appear that such vital information may have been deliberately destroyed or hidden. (this was subsequently confirmed by detailed research of archives and an investigation by the Attorney General and the Federal Police at our request).


" Dr O'Neill in the official history states " The RMO’s (Regimental Medical Officers) who were to serve in Korea received no special training for their new role and they had no operational military experience." and - " But except in relation to Malaria, they received little information from Army Headquarters on the treatment of diseases, such as intestinal ailments, typhus, relapsing fever, encephalitis and tuberculosis, which they might encounter. " And presumably no information on all the other endemic diseases, conditions of the civilian population, or the many dangers of all the toxic chemicals, pesticides, insecticides, carcinogens, pharmaceutical drugs, petro-chemicals, dangers from local foods, fruits and drinks or the many water-borne diseases.


" We have recently received a letter from the CO Indian Para Field Ambulance in which it lists a surprisingly high total of 1126 Australian soldiers with illnesses or diseases from only one of the three Australian battalions for only 24 months of the war of  cases of patients admitted, treated or evacuated with illnesses or diseases. We are currently attempting to obtain additional details from him, including that for the other two battalions and for the other 11 months not included. In addition to those figures can be added all those troops with  illnesses and diseases who were not evacuated to 60 Indian Para Field Ambulance.


" We have written advice that 1 Comwel Division had 195 cases of Malaria (which we believe to be a very conservative figure) and that many British soldiers, despite continuing taking Paludrine for two weeks on the ship travel home, developed Malaria in UK. The Canadians state that their  DVA Canada records show that of their surviving pensioned Korean veterans, 95 have Malaria as an accepted condition, which appears a very high figure and 30% who answered their questionnaires list Malaria. More details are included in subsequent papers. We have been advised of at least two soldiers who died in Korea from Malaria and we have anecdotal evidence of Australians who had Malaria both in Korea and after their return to Australia, all of which indicates that some mosquitoes developed immunity to Paludrine. We also have archival and written evidence that at least members of the RAAF only took Paludrine once or twice weekly, instead of daily, and a instructions which states that Paludrine will only be taken twice weekly by troops.


" Our continuing research of Australian War Memorial and Australian Government Archives Office in Melbourne is revealing more and more evidence of differences between the two wars. For example we have copies of a then secret 8th Army instruction concerning the aerial spraying of toxic insecticides and pesticides by large and small planes and helicopters, not only over our units in rear areas, but also over our forward combat units, and written signed statements from Australian veterans who experienced such spraying. In Vietnam the spraying of Agent Orange and other herbicides was generally done far from areas occupied by troops, while in Korea it was apparently sprayed by hand around sleeping and working areas.


" We also have obtained considerable archival evidence of extremely lax inoculation measures of Australian troops and lack of some essential vaccines in Korea, in apparently marked contrast to the Vietnam War.


" In the official history Dr O'Neill states - At the start of the Korean War the Australian battalion in Japan lacked a support company equipped with heavier weapons, a fourth rifle company and experienced signals personnel . . . The battalion lacked not only men, but also major equipment such as Bren gun carriers, jeeps and anti-tank weapons. It had undertaken no training as a complete unit for some years," in sharp contrast to the battalions that went to Vietnam. From the time that 3 RAR arrived in Korea in  1950, they were NOT provided with any cold weather clothing during the following bitter winter, they had a shortage of vehicles, their 1917 produced .303 rifles were heavy and had a slow rate of fire and their Owen guns had only a limited range and poor hitting power, in sharp contrast to the personal weapons, vehicles and helicopters provided to Vietnam veterans. The Australian army could not respond to the British request for a battery of 5.5 inch medium artillery guns, as insufficient stocks were held in Australia. Australia could not provide adequate ration packs for their troops, who were issued throughout the war with US ones, some of the contents of which were disliked by our troops. As a result they obtained officially or unofficially fresh foods and fruits as additives, some of which could have been contaminated with pesticides etc. We understand that situation did not prevail in Vietnam.


" In the early months of the war 3 RAR took part, as a unit of 27 Infantry Brigade, in a war of rapid movement and frequent battles with the enemy, making heavy demands on the troops involved and difficulties in administrative support. This is in contrast to the conditions pertaining to most Vietnam veterans in Vietnam.


" We have amassed pages of evidence concerning  many epidemics and the extremely poor standard of hygiene and  endemic diseases present in Korea and Japan immediately preceding and during  that war, when most of the population in South Korea became refugees. We understand that such conditions did not prevail in Vietnam to the same extent.


" Major General Bevin Alexander ( USA ) in " Korea The Lost War " stated - " The Korean war was one of the MOST DEVASTATING WARS IN HISTORY." Casualties, including civilians, totalled over 5 MILLION.


" The Toxic Chemicals Committee in Sydney, who have undertaken detailed research for Vietnam veterans, in a letter to a member of our committee dated 26 May 1997 stated - " The degree of exposure (of KOREAN veterans to chemicals etc) appears to be MUCH GREATER than that experienced by VIETNAM war veterans."


" In " Traumatic War Stressors and Psychiatric Symptoms Among WW II, KOREAN and VIETNAM War Veterans " a detailed study by Alan Fontana and Robert Rosenheck, they state " What was most surprising in the present study was the GREATER DISTRESS AND SUICIDALITY of KOREAN veterans compared with other veterans, particularly those from World War II."


" One outstanding Australian soldier who served in both Korea and Vietnam stated - " Vietnam was a picnic compared to Korea."


" Australian troops served for about ten years in Vietnam, in far greater numbers than in Korea, yet the largest battle that they fought - at Long Tan, and celebrate as such every year, involved only one rifle company and the casualties totalled only 18 killed . Whereas, in Korea, there were many army battles of much greater magnitude - SARIWON, YONGJU, CHONGJU, PAKCHON, UIJONGBU, CHUAM-NI, MAEWHA-SAN, KAPYONG, KOWANG-SAN, MARYANG SAN and THE SAMICHON, including that at Kapyong ( 92 casualties ), Maryang San, a heavy battalion battle lasting 5 days with 102 casualties, winning 2 DSO's, 9 MC's, 2 DCM's, 9 MM's, 1 MBE and 15 MID's for bravery), described by Dr O'Neill, official historian, as " The victory at Maryang San is probably the greatest single feat of the Australian Army during the Korean War."  The RAN ships and air squadrons earned hard won Korean battle honours as follows - ANZAC, BATAAN, CONDAMINE, CULGOA, MURCHISON, SHOALHAVEN, SYDNEY, TOBRUK, WARRAMUNGA, 805 Squadron, 808 Squadron and  817 Squadron. RAAF battle honours had not been awarded at date of publication of the official history. 3 RAR  was awarded the US Presidential Citation for the Battle of Kapyong" for extraordinary heroism and outstanding performance of combat duties " resulting in changing defeat into victory. 77 Squadron RAAF was awarded the Korean Presidential Citation for " exceptional meritorious service and heroism " - The savagery, intensity and magnitude of these battles, against great odds, and under very trying conditions, and the much higher rate of casualties in Korea, undoubtedly has resulted in a greater magnitude of Korean veterans  later suffering from PTSD, depression, psychological problems, chronic heart problems and other illnesses and diseases than Vietnam  veterans


" In " The War in Korea 1950-1953," it states - " Sanitary arrangements are invariably of a low standard, and collect flies and insects by the million." " By European countries, Korea is an unhealthy country. Mosquitoes capable of transmitting malaria and Japanese B. encephalitis, a dangerous form of brain fever, are experienced everywhere. Many other diseases are also spread by rats. Due to the widespread use of human faeces as fertiliser, local grown products are considered unfit for European consumption in their raw state."


" KOREAN veterans were subject, in accordance with the written directions in the ‘Australian Handbook of Army Health, 1950,’ and other documents, exposed MORE REGULARLY to FAR MORE TOXIC untested chemicals than VIETNAM veterans, substances which, unlike Vietnam veterans, were sprayed and dusted very regularly directly to their BARE BODIES, their CLOTHING, their SLEEPING BAGS, their LIVING ENVIRONMENTS, their FOOD and their WATER SUPPLIES. Water containers were contaminated with petrol, diesel and pesticide residues, & toxically over chlorinated. All or most of the toxic chemicals are now banned.


" During the 22 months of deadly trench warfare, Australian veterans in the frontline lived in small, dark, unventilated, often wet and mouldy, underground bunkers (entrances covered with blankets) - which were infested with rats, mice, anophelines and culicines mosquitoes; sand fly midges; insects; soft and hard ticks; fleas; chigger fleas; flies; head, body and crab lice; spiders; trombicula, KEHF and itch mites; bed bugs and other vermin - bunkers that were regularly sprayed with many toxic chemicals, insecticides and  pesticides and contained very toxic burnt and unburnt vapours of petro-chemicals, toxic kerosene, toxic hexamine tablets, the thick fug of smoke from cigarettes and deadly radiation from radon gas etc. VIETNAM veterans, to our knowledge, NEVER lived in such toxic, unhealthy conditions.


" Frontline Australian Infantry, the bulk of the Korean veterans, were constantly opposed, by numerically superior, ( 2 to 1 ) battle hardened Chinese regular troops, under constant, CLOSE OBSERVATION of the enemy, in some entrenched positions only 1-200 yards away. To raise their heads, or move above ground, invited immediate, close range, enemy artillery, mortar, machine gun or rifle fire, even more so when departing from or returning through minefield gaps on patrols, resulting in CONSTANT, very considerable, sustained battlefield fatigue, strain and stress. Such conditions did NOT prevail in Vietnam. CIGARETTES, BEER AND RUM WERE REGULARLY SUPPLIED - the causation of many subsequent illnesses and psychological  problems.  Yet we understand from media reports that few Korean veterans with genuine PTSD symptoms have bothered to claim, or are even aware that they can claim for acceptance of PTSD, and that 80% of the large number of Vietnam veterans, once accepted as T&PI, cease using essential pharmaceutical drugs for treatment of PTSD and most cease even visiting their doctor after being awarded T&PI, which appears to indicate that many more Korean veterans should be advised to claim and be accepted for that condition and that Vietnam veterans are apparently unfairly being given preferential treatment when they submit such claims.


" The local populace in Korea, having been driven from their smashed, burnt homes were mostly living in squalid conditions in humpies and they harboured a wide range of  endemic diseases to which Australians were not immune. Large numbers of them, dirty and unkempt, moved daily amongst our forward troops, as porters, food handlers, disposers of excreta etc., often providing troops with contaminated, locally grown fruit and vegetables.  Such conditions did NOT prevail to the same extent in Vietnam.


" KOREAN veterans were subject to a new, deadly, unknown disease, Korean Epidemic Haemorrhagic Fever. There was no known treatment. Many died from it, or suffered later from it's effects. It was transmitted from mites from the hordes of mice in underground bunkers and elsewhere. As a result additional regular spraying of toxic chemicals was done to attempt to control it. Such a deadly disease was NOT present in Vietnam to our knowledge.     


" KOREAN veterans were subject to conditions ranging from freezing sub-arctic winters ( as low as - 49 degrees C, PLUS wind chill factors of up to  -99 degrees C ) and steamy, sub-tropical heat and torrential rains. Such a RANGE of conditions did NOT prevail  in Vietnam.


" About 200 or more troops from each Australian battalion patrolled into no mans land EVERY night in heat, rain, snow and  ice, while every forward fighting pit, and most rear company fighting pits, were manned throughout the night. If attack was imminent, all troops stood to in their pits and at first light daily. Exhausted troops were lucky to get 4 or 5 hours sleep in 24 hours, greatly adding to their very considerable, sustained battlefield fatigue, strain and stress. Such conditions did NOT prevail in Vietnam. CIGARETTES, BEER AND RUM WERE REGULARLY SUPPLIED - the causation of many subsequent illnesses and psychological  problems.


" Australian battalions were in the line for up to 12 or 14 weeks at a time without any let-up, also greatly adding to their very considerable, sustained battlefield fatigue, strain and stress. Such conditions did NOT prevail in Vietnam. CIGARETTES, BEER AND RUM WERE REGULARLY SUPPLIED - the causation of many subsequent illnesses and psychological  problems.  During these PROLONGED periods they seldom had any showers or changes of clothing and often slept, exhausted, in their highly contaminated underground bunkers, in wet and chemically impregnated clothing and sleeping bags.


From our research, there were NO essential ANTI-MALARIAL UNITS or PATHOLOGY SERVICES provided in  KOREA, as were provided in Vietnam.


" Pilots in 77 Squadron RAAF, in tropical heat and freezing winters with ice and snow, flew ground attack missions over rugged terrain in often hazardous weather conditions, against heavy ground and anti-aircraft fire, were opposed by superior Russian MIG's and suffered heavy losses. The RAN was committed to a range of tasks, including close in-shore gunfire support, patrol duties and ground attack missions by aircraft from HMAS Sydney, from which RAN aircraft operated in very dangerous conditions in winter from ice & snow covered decks, and often heavy seas. They all suffered from considerable fatigue, strain and stress. Such conditions did NOT prevail in Vietnam. CIGARETTES, BEER AND RUM WERE REGULARLY SUPPLIED - the causation of many subsequent illnesses and psychological  problems.


" Our current documents, KVM&HSC4 and KVM&HSC5, which we are regularly expanding based upon continuing research  list at least 62 endemic diseases prevalent in Korea to which our troops had no natural immunity, and more than 160 untested toxic chemicals, pesticides, insecticides, (including organochlorides & organophosphates ), carcinogens, herbicides, solvents, pharmaceutical drugs and petro-chemicals (all or most are now banned ) to which our troops, their living areas, their food and their drinking water were very regularly exposed.  Such regular exposure to such a WIDE range of toxic chemicals etc and endemic diseases, from our research, exceeded, or far exceeded, that to which  Vietnam veterans were exposed.


" While Agent Orange was used in Vietnam, it seems from the recent Mortality study done for Vietnam veterans that it was generally used AWAY from most of their bases and appears to have been discounted in that report. In Korea, from very recent research, many herbicides, including 244-D and 245-T ( agent orange ), dioxins and other herbicides were apparently widely used for GROUND control of grasses and vegetation IN AND AROUND AREAS OCCUPIED BY TROOPS, unlike the situation in Vietnam. NO ESSENTIAL PROTECTIVE MEASURES WERE TAKEN.


" We have a documented case of a Canadian Korean veteran who, after battling doctors and the Canadian DVA for over 40 years, and after scientific testing in 1994, ( 42 years after the war ) has been accepted as suffering from the war with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, which involves permanent and irretrievable damage to the regulation of his immune system and the cause of all his many illnesses, as a direct result of regular exposure to toxic untested chemicals etc. We believe that there are many veterans with similar conditions, not yet recognised, understood, or accepted as such. We have many similar cases of civilians, suffering very debilitating illness and symptoms from similar causes, from exposures in lesser quantities and much less complex than those of the Korean veterans. "


As a result, The Minister for Veterans' Affairs reluctantly issued a Media Release on 20 October 1997, in which he agreed to conduct only a Mortality Study for Korean Veterans, probably followed by a Health Study. (At today’s date, May 2004, the Minister  has yet to agree to an adequate, all embracing Health Study and all aspects of exposures to toxic chemicals, one of the 3 reasons for the studies, has been cleverly, deviously and deliberately ignored and no aspects of it, such as symptoms or illnesses or diseases, are included in the current Health Questionnaire prepared by a paid, outside contractor).


Some Reference Material :


Much of the detail in this introductory paper is taken, with her kind permission, from Diana Crumpler's book, " Chemical Crisis," published in 1994.  She qualified as a teacher and a librarian in 1967 and taught in schools until severely debilitated and physically isolated by toxic chemicals. Since 1988 she has devoted herself to fostering allergy and chemical awareness. She writes for allergy journals, is a counsellor for three allergy-support groups and is Victorian co-ordinator for ACTA (the Australian Chemical Trauma Alliance) - all on a voluntary basis. She has drawn on a vast array of local and overseas resources to find out as much as possible about the modern phenomenon of ecological illness. The result is a masterpiece of writing and scientific detective work.


Because of the great magnitude of referring throughout all of our research papers to all our many sources, in only some papers, particularly this one, will we make direct references. However, in addition, in KVM&HS16, we will list some of all the vast array of reference material from which we have drawn. Should particular references be requested we will attempt to locate them.


To quote from a successful appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal V87/56, by the widow of a Vietnam veteran, dated 4.5.1990 ( which although referring to Vietnam  could readily refer to the Korean war.) ( Similar procedures were almost  certainly carried out in Korea on occasions when units were in reserve areas, and more so in front line positions, where troops lived in small, unlit, poorly ventilated, underground bunkers - often wet and mouldy - which were infested with rats, mice, mosquitoes - anophelines and culicines; sand fly midges; insects; ticks - soft and hard; fleas; chigger fleas; flies; lice -head, body, crab; spiders; mites - trombicula, KEHF mites, itch mites; bed bugs and vermin. One Korean veteran hygiene member stated that he regularly sprayed all trenches, fighting pits, tunnels and underground bunkers, tents and their inhabitants and exposed food, water and eating utensils and sleeping bags in Korea at least weekly, and often daily,  with a mixture of many toxic chemicals, and spraying of long grass in front of fields of fire, around minefield fences, HQ areas, roads etc was done with herbicides and weedicides  ) -


" At Nui Dat there was substantial use of pesticides. Regular " fogging " was done throughout the camp to deal with mosquitoes and other insects. Fogging was by means of a machine towed behind a Land Rover, or hand held machine. The pesticide was mixed with a solvent, usually diesolene, but sometimes kerosene or water. The mixture was allowed to drip onto a hot element, creating a thick fog. This fog was diffused so as to enter and fill every tent, including kitchens and eating areas. The immediate effect was to reduce visibility to nothing, and to engulf anyone present in choking fumes. To try and avoid inhaling the fog, it was common for personnel to place hats, towels or other items over their faces. The aftermath of the fogging was an oily film covering all surfaces. Despite the unpleasantness of the fog, many in the camp were anxious to have their tents fogged completely, and some would ask the driver. . . to repass their tents if they did not think that a proper job had been done the first time. Evidence was given by a former member of the First Field Hygiene Company, who carried out fogging operations. According to him, fogging was done on a ten day cycle, the whole camp being covered in that time. Another witness gave evidence that his area of the camp was seemed to be fogged after each occasion on which he returned from patrol. Fogging was done in kitchens and eating areas . . . There is no doubt that food and eating utensils would have been covered with the oily residue of the fog from time to time. The chemicals used in fogging were DIELDRIN, DDT, CHLORDANE, LINDANE, MALATHION and PYRETHRUM ( mixed with a toxic solvent such as dieselene, kerosene or water ). These different chemicals were not mixed deliberately. . . . Pesticides were also sprayed regularly in weapon pits adjacent to the perimeter of the camp . . . As well as large scale pesticide spraying, there was considerable use of pesticides and insect repellants by troops. It was normal practise for all clothes to be rubbed with mite repellant. Troops going on patrol would spray themselves and their clothes with pressure pack cans of insecticide. The practise was to spray spare clothes until they were saturated, and then roll them up and place them in a pack for carrying on patrol. Further pressure packs were taken on patrol. . . . The precise nature of the chemicals used in this personal spraying is not known. "


                        *                      *                      *                      *                      *



Some Factors of Toxic Chemicals as applicable to the Korean War which must be considered  in a Mortality & Health  Study :

            a. In our 16 major papers, for ease of reference,  we will use the general term  toxic chemicals  to cover the many different chemical etc agents listed which cause or result in most or all effects of symptoms and diseases and illnesses that result from regular small or large exposures.             b. Contrary to most doctors knowledge and understanding, the symptoms and illnesses that can develop from toxic chemicals can result from very small exposures, as well as large ones. Thus measurement of exposures is (apparently the main wrong reason for ignoring such exposures in the Vietnam Veterans Mortality study) is of NO real significance, although we will deal later with it, as measurement of exposures, contrary to those for Vietnam veterans, CAN be measured or fairly accurately estimated for Korean veterans - see KVM&HSC9.

            c. In general from all our research, NO essential protective measures were taken by those who prepared and administered  all these toxic agents, nor by the veterans who were exposed to them in Korea. eg. NO protective masks, clothing, gloves etc were used, operatives did NOT wash all their body and clothing immediately after use, NOR did the recipients - in fact the reverse is true - veterans did NOT wash after exposure and their clothing and boots were soaked in the agents and they often wore such contaminated clothing etc, next to their skin, for some considerable days or weeks afterwards.

            d. Korean veterans were specially selected for their robust health and fitness and this was maintained and increased by regular training. We seriously question how it is possible to scientifically compare them to any equivalent numbers of civilians, particularly as they were exposed regularly NOT to just one toxic chemical, but to a wide range of such, often simultaneously. A further complicating factor is the synergetic interreaction between the various chemicals, which results in greatly increased debilitating effects in the case of the Korean veterans.

            e. Most cohort studies are made by comparing the exposure of veterans and civilians to regular exposure to ONE or a few chemicals, whilst Korean veterans were regularly exposed to NOT one, but a wide range of  toxic chemicals at the same time, (poly-exposures) which throws further very considerable scientific doubt on any cohort comparison.

            f. This applies particularly to the Korean veterans most of whom spent long periods in small underground, poorly ventilated bunkers, while being regularly exposed to a very wide range of toxic chemicals in their clothing, sleeping bags, sandbags, blankets, boots, water supplies and food and the toxic effects of burnt and unburnt petro-chemicals including dieselene, petroleum, benzene, heating tablets, kerosene, toxic solvents and radon gas.

            g. Unlike " normal " illnesses and diseases, the SYMPTOMS of toxic chemicals  can be very varied, can be very difficult for untrained specialist doctors to diagnose and in most cases can only be scientifically proven by testing in special environmental health centres, including double and triple blind tests. Thus in any mortality or health study, it is essential to examine all SYMPTOMS of toxic chemicals as well as those of more readily diagnosed illnesses or diseases. This clearly appears NOT to have been done in the Vietnam Mortality or so called Health studies. (And, at May 2004, all such essential questions have been deliberately left out of the current, so called Health Questionaire prepared by an outside, paid contractor and have all deliberately been left out of the Korean War Veterans Mortality Report for specious reasons which are incorrect).

            h. It is therefore essential in any mortality and health study for Korean veterans to list as far as possible all SYMPTOMS, the date of first onset and the duration of the symptoms.

            i. Any questionnaire MUST include a list of all such symptoms of toxic chemicals, date of first onset and duration of symptoms with appropriate instructions to those filling in the questionnaire of the importance and relevance of properly answering such questions, as the vast majority of them and their untrained doctors are NOT YET AWARE of the dire consequences. In the case of deceased veterans, attempts should be made for their NOK to complete such details, and also advised appropriately. This is most important as it is only in the last year or so that a very small percentage of Korean veterans have become aware of the very debilitating effects of such toxic chemicals.

            j. The vast bulk of Korean veterans and their untrained doctors at present know little or nothing of such matters, and must be properly advised before submitting details or completing questionnaires. 

            k. Another baffling factor for doctors and scientists, is that different veterans react in different ways to toxic chemicals. With some, a given dose may produce no initial reaction, while with others they can become relatively completely disabled.





" The US General Accounting Office and the former Office of Technology Assessment have REPEATEDLY reported to the US Congress on the gross inadequacies that exist in the human risk assessment models of the federal government, particularly used by the EPA. The first major problem is that very little toxicological data is available for the over 70,000 chemicals in daily use. "


Since the Second World War about 4,000,000 chemicals have been unleashed on an unsuspecting  world. 75,000-plus are currently commercially available, many or most of them toxic from small exposures. According to the US National Research Council, almost 40,000 of these chemicals have NO toxicological data at all. Less than 10% have been tested for neurotoxicity, and only a handful have been evaluated thoroughly. An additional 1,000 are added each year. 3,000 chemicals are permitted as food additives. 700 chemicals are known to contaminate drinking water. 400 chemicals have been identified in human tissue. It is estimated that only 2% of all the 70,000-plus chemicals have ever undergone ANY kind of immunological testing, and such tests were done by large commercial firms who make huge profits from their sale.


An extremely good example of the government's inability to address toxicological issues can be found in the supposedly tightly regulated PESTICIDE and HERBICIDE industry. Of the 600 active ingredients EPA regulates, it can provide safety assurances for ONLY SIX of those compounds. Volatile toxic chemicals are as much our damnation as our salvation.


The veterans of the Korean War were the first Australian troops to EVER be exposed regularly to such a wide range of toxic chemicals etc, in accordance with written instructions (they were then, unfortunately, all thought to be safe ). All such toxic chemicals etc, with the exception of DDT, were introduced after WWII and before or during the Korean War. It is only in very recent years that the tragic consequences of such exposures to Korean veterans are slowly becoming known. In this context it took over forty years before it was reluctantly accepted in Australia that asbestos fibres and the use of DDT and dieldrin on pastures could produce such devastating effects and death on man, animals and crops. The tragic consequences of the drug Thalidomide, which took Dr McBride so many years to alert the medical profession to, is now, apparently, becoming manifest in second generation children of those originally affected, no doubt as a result of permanent damage to their DNA (as also happens with many toxic chemicals, with the most profound changes in the third and fourth generations. )


Most conservative doctors have received NO training in their deadly effects, and, as a consequence, do NOT yet accept them, preferring to wrongly brand such victims as psychosomatic or psychiatrically disturbed. In an attempt to relieve such symptoms they invariably resort to inappropriate pharmaceutical drugs (many of them toxic), unnecessary operations or hospitalisation in psychiatric hospitals and the administration of ECT, all of which usually only worsen the symptoms and the disabling ill health of the individuals concerned.


Pesticides are produced for the express purpose of deliberately causing the death of life form. In 1962 Rachel Carson in "  Silent Spring " was one of the first to alert the world to the tragic effects of the use of so many chemicals and pesticides and more and more books are rolling off the presses, adding to our knowledge of the horrors that we are unwittingly inflicting on the world and it's inhabitants. She died an early death, apparently from the vehement, sustained criticisms to which she was exposed from the medical establishment. In 1984, " Pesticides : the New Plague," was a revelation of the effects on humans.


Pesticide exposure obviously topples people into disabling multiple chemical sensitivity. At a recent US conference on MCS, Dr Claudia Miller quoted a survey in which almost 50 % of 6,800 allergics nominated pesticide exposure as their initial sensitising agent (1). Others agree. Dr Sherry Rogers comments - " Since pesticides cause predominantly central nervous system ( CNS ) and neurological symptoms, it is not surprising that they are the main cause or contributors to the emergence of chemical sensitivity." (2) Dr William Rea, the world's foremost clinical ecologist, whose Environmental Health Center in Dallas, Texas, has clinically tested and treated over 20,000 (now over  30,000) toxic chemical victims, and is now it's first Professor of Environmental Medicine, is also reported to trace the onset of his own sensitivities to pesticide exposure.


Pesticides may be classified into - insecticides (for insects), herbicides (for weeds, trees and foliage), fungicides (for fungi and moulds), termiticides (for termites), rodenticides (for rodents - rats and mice), nematocides (for nematodes), acaricides (for spiders), and molluscicides (for molluscs -  snails and slugs). These main classes can be further subdivided on the basis of their chemical composition. Insecticides, for example, can be categorised as organochlorines, organophosphates, carbamates, synthetic pyrethoids, or halogenated hydrocarbons.




The organochlorines are the oldest, longest lasting and most controversial of all insecticides. All are based on carbon and chlorine atoms. Organochlorines, of which DDT is probably the best known, are broad spectrum toxins, capable of killing a wide range of humans, insects, fish, birds and mammals. However, although organochlorines pesticides have now been in use for almost half a century including the start of the Korean War, their exact mode of toxicity is still not fully understood. The organochlorines also include a major sub-group, known as cyclodeines. Heptachlor, Chlordane, Aldrin and Dieldrin (all used during the Korean War) are all cyclodeine pesticides. All organochlorine insecticides are lipophilic or bio-accumulative (ie, they have an affinity with fat), and concentrate in human and animal tissue, including the brain which is 40% fat, before insidiously attacking the gut, the brain and all bodily organs. This factor is what makes them of such long term toxicity in Korean veterans.


Australian researchers, Conrad Stacey and Tania Tatum, have shown how such pesticides mobilised from the mother's body fat can contaminate her breast-milk. They concluded that " breathing the vapours over a period of time may be the route of contamination." (3). Such a link has been substantiated by many studies. Organochlorine pesticides measured in Australian human milk samples include Chlordane and Heptachlor Epoxide (a breakdown compound), DDE, Dieldrin, HCB and BHC - all of which are highly toxic and all of which have been found in Korean veterans, from where they could transfer to the mother (4) and then transferred on to future generations causing irretrievable genetic and DNA damage and a wide range of illnesses, diseases, missing and additional body parts etc.


Although their exact mode of toxicity is not fully understood, organochlorines are neurotoxins - ie. they kill pests by damaging the CNS. In addition, they are known to damage the immune and endocrine systems, and to create free radicals, which can interfere with numerous bodily processes, including replication of the DNA. They are also potent liver poisons. Heptachlor and Chlordane are regarded by some authorities, including the International Agency for Research on Cancer, as possible human carcinogens (5). Other researchers report blurred vision, dizziness, muscle spasms, tremors, convulsions, nausea, confusion, fatigue, memory loss, and parathesia after exposure. (6). There is increasing evidence from human and animal studies, to implicate Heptachlor as a suspect teratogen (capable of inducing foetal malformation).


Organochlorines are extremely persistent, with an active half-life of 30 to 40 years, with a frightening capacity to migrate from point of application, thus the problems of organochlorines will be with Korean veterans and their offspring for decades to come. Aldrin and Dieldrin, used in Korea,  are also twin cyclodeines (Aldrin breaks down into Dieldrin) and are  high on the list of  toxic chemicals. Aldrin is also a potent nerve and liver poison and a suspected carcinogen, and is bio-accumulative in human tissue and breast milk. It featured in a major scandal at the Streaky Bay area school in Australia. Our entire beef industry was thrown into chaos in 1987, when the USA rejected Australian meat contaminated with Dieldrin and DDT, having travelled from soil to pasture to animals to humans, a process that was known as early as 1955. In 1974 the US Environment Protection Agency had warned that Dieldrin was capable of inducing tumours and birth defects and that it posed an acute hazard to human and domestic animals through dermal exposure. The DDT story is similar. It was first banned in USA in the late 60's. With a half-life in excess of 20 years, DDT is guaranteed to be our and our Korean veterans' star lodger for decades to come. Other organochlorines used in Korea include Lindane (also known as BHC or Benzene Hexachloride) which is a suspected carcinogen linked to leukaemia and malignant bone-marrow disorders. It was sprayed  in Korea in underground bunkers for lice and head lice.




Although they do not accumulate in human tissue and are less environmentally persistent than organochlorines, they are far more acutely toxic. Parathion and Mevinophos are among the most toxic pesticides formulated. They were  used in the Korean War. America lists Mevinphos and Parathion as major causes of occupational poisoning in their class. (7). A single unprotected exposure or long term low level exposure may damage the nervous system and vision. Because of it's high toxicity Mevinophos  was banned in Russia in 1986 (8). Organophosphates are neurotoxins, which kill by disrupting the central nervous system of humans as well as insects. They inhibit AChE production, thus allowing  acetylcholine to build up in the gap between the cells, and causing  incoming impulses to fire continuously and to short circuit the nerves that govern vital bodily functions. In humans the consequences of exposure may vary from subtle to lethal, depending on the dose received and individual susceptibility. As all bodily functions are governed by nerves, organophosphate poisoning can produce a great diversity of symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, muscular spasms, twitching, paralysis, incoordination, weakness, asthma, respiratory failure, fatal heart conditions, and brain damage such as  blurred vision, headache, depression, memory lapses, disorientation, bizarre behaviour, emotional instability, convulsions, coma and death.


Even if non fatal, such pesticides can induce chronic and delayed effects unrelated to AChE depletion, such as behavioural changes and cognitive dysfunction. In many cases such damage appears to be permanent. (9). A recent article in " The Lancet " documents long term problems after organophosphate exposure - problems which the authors felt could not be explained by other factors. " We conclude that even single episodes of clinically significant organophosphate intoxication are associated with a persistent decline in neuropsychological functioning. " (10). Organophosphate exposure, not necessarily to toxic doses, has been linked to myopia, to reduced visual acuity and to optic neuritis. (11). Common organophosphates include Dichlorvos, Maldison, Diazinon and  Omethoate, all used in the Korean War.  Organophosphorous compounds are also under scrutiny as immunotoxins. Another Lancet article detailed how these chemicals, through their ability to suppress natural killer cells and T-lymphocytes (key elements in the immune system) can allow reactivation of dormant viruses, increase susceptibility to infection and allow the proliferation of lymphatic cancers such as non-Hodgin's lymphoma. (12).




Synthetic pyrethoids (SPs) are also designed to kill insects by disrupting neural transmission. Like DDT, their exact mode of toxicity is not known; although, again like DDT, they probably act on  both the CNS (the brain and spinal cord ) and peripheral nervous system (the nerves in other parts of the body). They probably do this by disrupting the permeability of nerve membranes to sodium atoms. (13). Confusion between synthetic pyrethoids and pyrethrins (natural insecticides derived from pyrethrum) has resulted in the belief that SPs are also natural substances, and, therefore, " safe." However, the SP compounds are now so widely used as pesticides they are no more natural than any other synthetic pesticide. Even if they were natural substances, natural is not necessarily synonymous with innocuous. Pure, natural pyrethrum also kills by striking at their nervous systems, causing over-excitation, then death.


Synthetic pyrethoids, of which there are now more than 1,000 examples, are artificial concoctions only loosely structured after the daisy extract. Some more resemble DDT-like pesticides than they do their parent pyrethrins. Cross resistance with DDT may rapidly reduce their effectiveness. (14). This means that insect species, unlike humans, already resistant to DDT may readily acquire immunity to the SPs, because of the similarity of their modes of toxicity. SPs are divided into four categories - each more persistent and more toxic than its predecessor. Although natural pyrethrins do have a comparatively low acute toxicity for mammals, do not bioaccumulate in fat and do degrade quickly in the presence of sunlight and air, the same is not necessarily true for SPs. Deltamethrin approaches some of the organophosphates in acute toxicity, is retained in fat tissue in animals and persists for several weeks within the environment. (15). SPs may be intensely irritating to the skin and eyes and can present an acute hazard to the chemically susceptible, especially in asthmatics. (16).


All international flights into Australia, Korea and Japan were and are routinely sprayed with SPs. On foreign based planes this is done by direct spraying, while Australian based planes are exposed to the off-gassing of long lasting residual pesticides, which are re-applied every 3 months. A second-generation SP -d-phenothrin (Sumithrin ) - remains the insecticide of choice for in-flight spraying. This is the case despite the authorities' considerable ignorance about its effects, and growing concerns as to its efficacy and safety. The USA EPA data gaps for Sumithrin registration studies include tests for inhalation, dermal sensitisation, acute oral toxicity, acute dermal toxicity, teratogenicity, chromosomal aberrations and other genotoxic effects. (17).


Even though it is recommended by WHO for aircraft spraying, and airport authorities assure passengers that d-phenothrin has no known side effects, several passengers on the Australian route have suffered sensitivity reactions to the chemical - some severe enough to require hospitalisation. At least one tourist has died as a result of this policy. He died 18 hours after exposure. Persons with a condition involving airflow obstruction, loss of effective lung tissue or narrowing of the bronchial passages are susceptible to any irritant which further restricts airways. Residual sprays, used on Australian based planes, being long lasting can be applied without crew or passengers being aware. They can pose an even more insidious threat for the chemically sensitive than direct spraying, as they off-gas for the entire flight. Several Korean veterans have stated suffering symptoms from spraying of planes between Korea, Japan and Australia.


One of the greatest tragedies resulting from our indiscriminate use of synthetic chemicals must be the ever increasing number of children who are afflicted with deformity and disease; children born into this chemical soup who may never know a day's normalcy, exposed pre-natally to pesticides and, as a consequence, born chemically sensitive. Korean veterans have sacrificed their children's health and their own in a heinous pact to eliminate a few pests.




Most people believe that pesticides are 'safe if used as directed.' Nothing could be further from the truth. US law prohibits such claims and firms proclaiming such levels of safety have been prosecuted for false advertising. (18). To use a pesticide as directed is simply to apply it legally - nothing more, nothing less. According to a submission to a US government enquiry, approximately 80% of registered pesticides have NOT been adequately investigated for carcinogenity; 65% for their possible contributions to birth defects; and 91% for genetic damage and mutagenicity. (19). Many pesticides, developed almost half a century ago, at, before or during the Korean War, were released without ANY pretence at proper testing, for no one suspected that they could affect humans.


            " After some 20 years of collecting data to reevaluate the health and environmental effects of 19,000 older pesticides, EPA as of March 1992 has registered only 2 products. . . . At the current pace, not until early into the next century will the federal government be able to provide assurance to the public that these pesticides are indeed safe to use." (20).


Several modern pesticides, registered on the strength of falsified tests, have also yet to be adequately retested. (21). Rather than implying that registration is an assurance of safety, the US EPA cautions :


            " Because pesticides are by their very nature designed to be biologically active and kill pests and weeds, we speak in terms of relative risks, rather than 'safety.' The introduction of toxic chemicals . . . into the environment does create both known and unknown risks to human health and the environment."(22).


By contrast, the US Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act merely requires that a pesticide does not present " any unreasonable risk to man or the environment, taking into account the economic, social, and environmental costs and benefits, " (23) this stance is echoed by our own Federal Department of Community Services and Health :


            " One has to consider these matters in terms of hazard, relative hazard and the acceptability of risk. All chemicals . . . are potentially hazardous, and . . . one has to assess the toxicity of the substance and the way in which it will be used, to arrive at an estimation of whether or not it is acceptable."


The operative words are UNREASONABLE and ACCEPTABLE. This is where science ends, and politics and economics take over. John Bonine, Professor of Environmental Law at the University of Oregon, expressed it like this : " If the costs of using the pesticide are considered to be 90 cents worth of cancer and the benefits are estimated at a dollar's worth of profits, the pesticide is registered." (24). Professor Samuel Epstein made the same point this way : " It is important to realise that the basis of so called ' scientific ' decisions are in fact ECONOMIC considerations, and are NOT science." (25).


Many disturbing questions emerge from a review of pesticide test-procedures. A chemical company may spend more than $50 million to develop a pesticide, after it organises trials to evaluate the product's efficacy and toxicity. Toxicity is established by dosing laboratory animals with the chemical and monitoring them for adverse effects. Eventually, the pesticide's toxicity is rated by means of an LD 50 level - literally, the lethal dose required to kill 50 % of test animals. This measure is expressed as milligrams of chemical to kilograms of body weight. The LD 50 varies according to the method of absorption. There are oral levels, to account for the effects of a pesticide being eaten; and dermal levels, for absorption through the skin. The lower the LD50, the more toxic the product.


Mevinphos, with an oral LD50 of 4 mg/kg, is one of the most toxic of all pesticides. The US EPA report on Mevinphos states : " Data gaps exist for acute toxicity, subchronic effects, chronic feeding, oncogenicity, reproduction, mutagenicity, and metabolic effects. A partial data gap exists for teratogenicity." (11/10). This clearly DOES NOT constitute adequate testing for a pesticide first registered forty five years ago.


DDT has a low dermal toxicity of 2,500 mg/kg, but a higher oral toxicity. NEITHER RATING considers DDT's most insidious aspect - it's environmental persistence and bioaccumulation, which ensures that for DECADES, perhaps even for CENTURIES. Our Korean veterans and their families will continue to reap the toxic harvest of that period of wanton abandon during the 1950's, 1960's and 1970's.


LD50 assessments mostly ignore inhalation, which is a major source of human contamination. While we ingest approximately one kilogram of food daily and drink two litres of water, we INHALE 10,000 - 20,000 litres of air. As each breath contains 10 billion trillion molecules, even pesticide residues in readings of parts per billion will add up to a sizeable daily dose. As well as the obvious aerosols and spray drift, we INHALE pesticides bonded to dust particles which may have drifted for hundreds of miles. " Contaminated air is a major source of human exposure to toxicants . . . (and) evaluation of toxicants by inhalation . . . of critical importance, " reports the US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. (26).


An LD50 rating is simply a GENERALISED measure of toxicity; it DOES NOT INDICATE the dose required to kill one animal, and it tells us NOTHING of the chemical's other effects. At best, the LD50 rating is a clumsy, inefficient method of assessing toxicity. At worst, it can be FATALLY ERRONEOUS. Very few people die of acute poisoning. For most, the main avenue of exposure is through CUMULATIVE SUB-LETHAL doses. It is precisely these effects which are IGNORED in standard laboratory tests.


The immunotoxic, carcinogenic Organophosphates are rated only moderately toxic under the LD50 system.  CAPTAN, a fungicide with an LD50 of 8,400, appears innocuous; yet it is under close scrutiny as a carcinogen, mutagen and teratogen. (27). Nor are laboratory animals necessarily akin to people. Rats and mice, the most widely used species, are simply convenient, small, easy to handle, and quick to breed. Pigs, said to be the species physiologically closest to man, are not standard laboratory animals. Dr Ruth Shearer, an American genetic toxicologist, reminds us that " for eight out of eight teratogenic chemicals, humans are susceptible at lower doses than the most sensitive animal species." (28).


Then again, how can we presume that functional and submicroscopic deviations will show in animal tests ? How does a rat indicate paresthesia or peripheral neuropathy ? How does a rabbit report a headache ? How does a guinea pig report slurred speech and double vision ? Indeed, a recent paper presented to a seminar evaluating research protocol for MCS acknowledges the implausability of designing an animal model appropriate to MCS. (29). The same criticism applies to other effects of other chemical exposures.


Some chemicals affect man only. THALIDOMIDE slipped through the safety net. So did Beta-napthalamine, the source of yellow food colouring cleared for human consumption after tests on rats and mice. It was later found to cause cancers in humans; it was metabolised into the carcinogenic 2-amino-1-napthol only within the human body. Cyclamates, artificial sweeteners derived from a petrochemical, were also approved for human use - only to be banned when their breakdown product was found to cause chromosomal damage and cancer in humans. Vitamin C influences interferon production, and hence central nervous system and immune functions. Given the critical importance of these two systems and the role vitamin C plays in healing, infection fighting and detoxification for MCS sufferers, it seems significant that most animals manufacture vitamin C in their own bodies and do not require a dietary source as people do.




Laboratory animals are subjected to ONLY ONE chemical in tests. Where on this earth can we find people in such a situation ? If we fed rats on our own devitalised diet, sprayed their cages with DDT, DIELDRIN, MALATHION etc (as was regularly done in Korea in unventilated underground bunkers), exposed their drinking water, food and sleeping places to toxic chemicals (as was regularly done in Korea in unventilated underground bunkers), and exposed them to a cocktail of toxic petro-chemicals, solvents, burnt and unburnt fuels, radon gas and a thick fog of  cigarette smoke ( as was regularly done in Korea in unventilated underground bunkers ), and then tested them for ONLY ONE CHEMICAL . . . maybe laboratory protocol would more closely approximate the human Korean veterans condition.


The National Resource Defence Council has documented residues of 30 different pesticides in carrots, 30 in oranges, 39 in strawberries, 43 in lettuce, 32 in cucumbers and 22 in celery. (30). Each of these pesticides was originally EVALUATED IN ISOLATION, as if each were the only chemical a person would ENCOUNTER IN A LIFETIME. Yet CHEMICAL INTERACTION may be one of the most critical factors to account for toxicity, for many chemicals INTERACT to create an effect MORE TOXIC THAN THE SUM OF EACH SUBSTANCE IN ISOLATION. This is called SYNERGISM. In synergy we are looking at the product rather than the SUM, at a multiplicity, rather than an additive process.


In SYNERGY, 1 plus 1 equals 4, 5, 10, 100 or a 1,000, in one case with two chemicals  1,600. Synergy abounds in the world of pesticides. Indeed, some pesticides are formulated in this way to increase their killing power. Several organochlorides or organophosphates are more toxic if combined, because one destroys the liver enzymes needed to detoxify the other. Concurrent exposures to organophosphates and synthetic pyrethoids intensifies the AChE-inhibitting effect of organophosphates.


Current laboratory procedures, in disregarding the synergistic effect of so many chemicals in concert, to which Korean veterans were regularly exposed, are ignoring one of the most potent avenues of toxicity. In real life we do not take our chemicals on the rocks, but as a cocktail of deadly potentiality. Some chronically ill veterans sufferers of chronic fatigue syndrome/ multiple chemical sensitivity are carrying very high levels of more than a dozen toxic chemicals. It would, of course, be impossible to test for every chemical combination, or even for those which confront us every day. But to ignore synergism is to bring into doubt the results of every chemical test performed in isolation.


As well, the authorities consider ONLY THE MAIN INGREDIENT of a pesticide or chemical in evaluation of toxicity. Other elements - such as solvents, spreaders, preservatives, and contaminants - are NOT ASSESSED. Indeed, they are regarded as  trade secrets,  and many are NOT EVEN DISCLOSED to the reviewing authorities. Such substances, ostensibly known as " inert ingredients," are inactive in official terminology only. Many are highly toxic, and some are banned as active ingredients. Approximately 2,000 inert ingredients - including toxic Benzene, Toluene diisocyanate, and Dioxane - are allowed in American and hence Australian pesticides. As some pesticide formulas are more than 80 per cent inert, responsible testing of ALL ingredients must become a priority if there is to be any reform of pesticide law.


Immunotoxicity and neurotoxicity must also become research priorities. When several public-interested groups petitioned the US EPA to request that pesticides be evaluated for neurobehavioural toxicity, an EPA spokesman was quoted as saying that such testing would be too expensive. (31). This attitude seems immoral. How can we price a life ? How can we price the well-being of our children ? How can we continue to  expose veterans and their children to poisons legitimatized on the basis of the amount required to kill 50 % of a sample of rats ? Children, who are far more vulnerable to toxins than are adults. Babies do not even have detoxification enzymes; they develop slowly during childhood.


We need to register more concern for the effects of chemicals on human beings, and accede to what is now irrefutable evidence which demonstrates a causal relationship between pesticides, chemicals and chronic illness. We can no longer afford to give into pro-chemicalists who deny any such link because we cannot " prove " it. For ethical reasons, we do not test human beings in a laboratory. Yet we have no compunction about releasing products such as DDT, DIELDRIN and 2,4,5-T without proper testing, saturating our Korean veterans and our world with them, then later recanting and denying as damaging research reports leak out.


Where pesticides are concerned we are all guinea pigs, for no one understands their ultimate effects. The fact that we cannot currently chart the pathways of chemically induced illness does not prove that volatile chemical compounds are innocuous; certain organochlorines, now  reported to interfere with the replication of the DNA, were unleashed before scientists even knew of the existence of the DNA, let alone knew it to be the blueprint for life. And cell mitochondria, now recognised as vital powerhouses on which life depends and known to be susceptible pesticide exposure, were once dismissed as " cellular elements of unknown and probably unimportant function." (32). How many other still-unsuspected life processes do pesticides disrupt ? As yet, no one knows. Despite the almost miraculous achievements of science over the past half-century, life remains the greatest mystery of all. We know so little of it's intricacies, and cannot even define when it begins and ends. Medicine is still an ART, and a long way from being a science.


Pesticides are the most insidious of chemicals. We have eased them through the barriers we erect to safeguard our human integrity, we have used them indiscriminately on Korean Veterans, have welcomed them into our society like a latter-day Trojan horse. Invisible, and tasteless and odourless to all but the hypersensitive, pesticide residues even bypass every sensory warning system. Deluded by both bureaucratic and commercial approbation, we have sanctioned them to penetrate our flesh, to alter the function of our bodies, to warp our minds and behaviour, to seep to the core of our rational entity and, maybe, to modify the inheritance of future generations in ways that we cannot even conceptualise.




The new miracle hormone weedkillers, guaranteed safe and effective, were introduced in 1945, 5 years before the Korean War. Like the organophosphates, these products were a spin-off from military research. The US army recognised strategic potential in the discovery of plant growth-hormones, and Fort Dietrick in Maryland became the proving ground for 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T. Although General Douglas MacArthur was refused permission to use them in the Pacific War, it is believed defoliants would have become part of the US arsenal had hostilities continued into 1946. (33). 2,4-D was released commercially in 1945 and 2,4,5-T in 1948, both before the Korean War.


Advertisements in 1950s' farm and garden journals show that we welcomed herbicides with the same enthusiasm and naivete as we did DDT. One advertisement announced : " Weeds kill profits. ( Our product ) kills weeds : Greater yields - cleaner pastures and increased carrying capacity when you spray with this selective non-poisonous hormone type weed killer." Another product, advertised as " Australia's best blackberry killer," guaranteed that 2,4,5-T was " non-poisonous to humans and stock." The effectiveness of another blackberry killer was ascribed to its mix of 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T, the cocktail that was to achieve infamy as Agent Orange in the Vietnam War as an aerial spray over jungle many miles from troop living environments, yet it appears now that it was also widely used as a ground spray in and around troop concentrations in the Korean War - a far more deadly practice, particularly as protective measures were then unknown.


Every advertisement promised that these sprays were effective, easy to apply, economical and safe. The first three claims have never been doubted. The fourth WAS, and very soon.


THE PHENOXY HERBICIDES  : 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T :


As early as 1955 the Mayo Clinic documented neural damage resulting from normal domestic use of 2,4-D. (34). Patients complained of headaches, diarrhoea and vomiting, followed by prolonged numbness, weakness, twitching, weight loss, swelling, and altered pain and temperature mechanisms. All reported constant pain and difficulty in walking. One described his paraesthesia as a " feeling of worms crawling beneath the skin." Neurological tests, far more comprehensive than ours, revealed NO obvious abnormalities. The medical history of the Mayo patients, Australians exposed at home and in farming areas, and many Korean, Vietnam and Gulf veterans, are chillingly identical.


The herbicides 2,4-D ( 2,4-dichloro-phenoxy-acetic acid) and 2,4,5-T ( 2,4,5-trichloro-phenoxy-acetic acid ) are closely related. Synthesised from chlorine and phenol, and known as chlorinated phenoxy herbicides, the 2,4,5-T molecule simply has one more chlorine atom. Phenoxy herbicides are absorbed through the foliage and transported through the circulatory system to every part of the plant, which then dies within 7 to 14 days. By imitating indoleacetic acid, a natural plant growth-hormone, they fatally accelerate all biological activities until the plant eventually outgrows its strength and dies of starvation. Abnormal cell growth blocks the movement of liquids and nutrients; root tissues soften and decay; and DNA synthesis is disturbed, along with energy metabolism, photo-synthesis mechanisms, and enzyme activity. Australia was one of the last countries in the world to ban its use.


Although 2,4,5-T is usually portrayed as the major villain because of the indisputable toxicity of its dioxin contaminant, its fraternal twin is far from safe. 2,4-D is known to disrupt the process by which the body " burns " fuel within the cell mitochondria to produce energy; (35) to damage the blood-brain barrier and central nervous system in rats;(36) and to induce cancer and birth defects in laboratory animals.(37). A Russian study has also implicated 2,4-D as a mutagen; although only the grandparents of the rats under study were exposed, generations one and two suffered impaired fertility, while the third exhibited hairlessness and dwarfism.(38).


Clinical and epidemiological reports of the effects of 2,4-D are equally disturbing. Dr Lennart Hardell has published several studies which confirm an increase of soft-tissue sarcoma (a rare cancer) among Swedish forestry workers using phenoxy herbicides. Non-Hodgin's lymphoma (NHL), an equally rare cancer of the immune system, is also strongly associated with 2,4-D.(39). A 1986 American study indicates that exposure to 2,4-D for more than twenty days per year increases the NHL risk six-fold, and that those who mix or apply the pesticides, using proper precautions (precautions which were NOT used in Korea),  are eight times more likely to develop NHL.(40). Dogs from houses where lawns are treated with 2,4-D have also shown to be at excess risk of developing lymphoma.(41).


Dr Ruth Shearer, a genetic toxicologist, reports that the clinical effects of 2,4-D exposure include cognitive distortion, or that which we label " brain fog, " weakness, lethargy, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, headaches, and problems with vision.(42). Residual effects include paraesthesia, numbness, tingling, memory impairment, and a tendency to bleed easily; and " hypersensitivity to non-physiological chemicals which prevents participation in most modern job environments." Shearer also notes that the primary breakdown product of 2,4-D causes " the kind of immune imbalance which is most often seen in persons afflicted with chemical hypersensitivities."


Other researchers document heart disease, emotional disorders and behavioural changes, bleeding gums, abnormal uterine bleeding, decreased fertility, miscarriages, and foetal defects - especially neural-tube defects such as cleft palate, spina bifida, hydrocephalus (abnormal cerebral fluid, which causes brain damage), and anencephally (absence of a brain) among populations exposed to phenoxy herbicides. (43).


Estimates of the amount of herbicides dumped on Vietnam go up as high as 70 billion litres.(44). " Soldiers were exposed via direct contact and from contamination of their water, camps, and combat zone; nor should we ignore the synergistic effect of organochlorines used to fumigate their living quarters and organophosphates that were used for mosquito control." ( Crumpler ).


Many Australian soldiers and their children were also affected, yet, in a repeat of enquiries into civilian disease and birth-defect clusters following pesticide exposure, the Evatt Royal Commission rejected all evidence of any connection. (45). Despite the fact that 10,585 Vietnam veterans are now on a pension (1994), that 2,000 new claims are lodged each year, and that 6,000 men are believed to have died since returning home, (46) it was actually reported that Vietnam veterans are significantly more healthy than the general population. (47). All evidence of a link between birth deformities and Agent Orange was dismissed as implausible.


The ultimate verdict ? " Agent Orange is not guilty . . . This is good news and it is the Commission's fervent hope that it will be shouted from the rooftops."


Yet it was known as early as 1965 that 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T were capable of inducing birth defects, including cleft palate and gross brain deformities, in mice. It was also known that very low doses of dioxin - doses as low as five parts per trillion - produced tumours in rats. Dioxins, amongst the most deadly chemicals known, are not deliberately produced; they occur as contaminants during the production and combustion of phenoxy herbicides and related products. TCDD, the 2,4,5-T contaminant, is also known to effect enzymes and the immune system. ( North American batches of 2,4-D have also been shown to be contaminated with dioxins; they are, however, not as toxic as TCDD ).


Reports from the 1970's summarise the overall effects of TCDD and phenoxy exposure as : chloracne, bruising, abnormal body hair, liver damage, interruption to carbohydrate and fat metabolism, respiratory problems, pancreatic and urinary tract disorders, CNS malfunction - including weakness and fatigue, sensory impairment, anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, emotional instability, and anorexia - disturbances to gait, raised cholesterol, kidney dysfunction, nausea, gastritis, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, and ventricular fibrillation. (48).


The problems of many Korean and Vietnam veterans are identical or greater than  those of civilians exposed to pesticides. They include a high incidence of cancer - especially leukaemia, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and soft-tissue sarcoma - migraine, irritable bowel syndrome, dizziness, hypertension, and bouts of mental symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, depression, and violent behaviour. In the Vietnam veterans' case, such symptoms are invariably interpreted as a manifestation of their anger at a society which instigated a dirty, futile war. But to attribute Vietnam veterans every subsequent problem to war neurosis is far too easy and simple an explanation, particularly as identical problems are now becoming manifest and understood in Korean veterans and Gulf War veterans. The same thread clearly runs through each of those modern day wars - a very wide range of illnesses and diseases from regular exposures to a whole cocktail of toxic chemicals developed after the Second World War. It is much more than just simple coincidence.




In research paper KVM&HSC7 is a copy of the BKVA covering letter to their questionnaire and a copy of the questionnaire that was sent to living British veterans, together with Miller & Mitzel List of 96 symptoms of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (and damage to the immune and other bodily symptoms), Environmental Health Center, Dallas, toxic chemicals Symptom Checklist, a CONFIDENTIAL long list of British Korean War veteran A. Cunningham-Boothe's 47 illnesses and diseases (his 36 operations not included)  which, if typical, paints a very distressing picture indeed of the permanent damage to his and other veteran's immune and bodily systems resulting from wide exposure to all the chemicals, insecticides, pesticides, carcinogens, radiation, solvents, irradiation and petrochemical products etc to which Korean veterans were regularly exposed (please note his embargo on the wider use of its contents), (2004 note - He subsequently died at an early age following acceptance of his claim due to toxic chemicals), a request for additional symptoms sent to living British veterans, a copy of  the follow up letter sent to living British veterans following receipt of their replies and a copy of BKVA covering letter to Questionnaire and copy of the Questionnaire sent to Widows/Next of Kin of BKVA deceased veterans (copies previously forwarded to DVA).


In research paper KVM&HSC7 is a letter, dated 3 November 1996, sent to us concerning the results of the British questionnaires, together with a copy of the summary of 980 Replies received from living British veterans, at 8 March 1996, a copy of the summary of 1185 replies received from living British veterans, at 1 November 1996, a break up of 164 British veterans with cancers and a break up of 452 British veterans with heart ailments and surgery (copies previously forwarded to DVA).


Note, in particular, the summary of 980 replies from UK veterans still alive at that time, the very high incidence of arthritis ( 72.6% ) ( six times the national average ) and the apparently high incidence of  heart disorders ( 36.9% ), respiratory illnesses ( 36.8% ), other illnesses ( 55.9% ), mystery illnesses ( 16.4% ), cancer ( 14.2% ), renal problems ( 9.2 % ), KEH fever ( 3% ) and the fact that only 5% have declared no health problems. In comparing these figures to the general civilian populace it is very important, and often overlooked or ignored, that, unlike their civilian counterparts, they are from a large body of young men who were specially selected for service because of their robust good health and lack of medical or potential medical problems. And although, at the time they replied, they probably averaged an age of about 68, no doubt many of the disabilities they list were probably contracted much earlier, and in some or many cases probably became manifest just after the war. Therefore they DO NOT represent merely a medical picture of old men. Some more detailed research is possibly needed to ascertain those matters. But, nonetheless, those high percentages do appear to clearly support his deductions that Korean veterans were exposed to a very wide range of potent, toxic, poisonous chemicals, pesticides, insecticides, carcinogens, petroleum products etc which have had disastrous, long term consequences on their immune and bodily systems, on their health, and, apparently in many cases early, premature death - in the latter case he estimates that 15% of the 60,000 UK servicemen who served there have died early deaths as a direct result of such exposures during the war. (copies previously forwarded to DVA).


Note that in the update of the UK figures, based on receipt of 1185 replies, dated 1 November 1996, it shows a very similar trend, in some cases the figures are a little greater - arthritis ( 67.5% ), other illnesses ( 58% ), respiratory illnesses ( 38.3% ), heart disorders ( 38.1% ),  mystery illnesses ( 23% ), cancer ( 14.0% ),  renal problems ( 8.4 % ), KEH fever ( 3.5% ) and the fact that only 4.5% have declared no health problems. The breakdowns of the cancer and heart conditions from that  update, were produced by Ashley, at our request, in some haste. ( copies previously forwarded to DVA ).


As Ashley-Cunningham-Boothe is in the process of writing a book about his findings, it is probably inappropriate to disseminate his results widely at this time, but he is happy for us to bring the facts to your attention now, if it will assist our case. (2004 note - Prior to his ultimely death he forwarded, at their request, most of his voluminous resarch papers and much of mine to Bermingham University for their archives and research).


Attached to research paper KVM&HSC7 is a letter from Dr P.C.Hawker,MD,FRCP to A. Cunningham-Boothe, dated 28 October 1996. Note, in particular his statement concerning the effects of pesticides and sprays on troops. (copies previously forwarded to DVA).


Attached to research paper KVM&HSC7 is a copy of the Roll of Honour of the BKVA Greater Manchester Branch listing deaths of 52 members in the last 10 years from a membership of under 200 veterans. (copies previously forwarded to DVA).


Attached to research paper KVM&HSC7 is a recent British newspaper extract  concerning Gillian McCarthy's Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and permanent damage to her immune system from exposure to chemicals. ( copies previously forwarded to DVA ).




As earlier stated to DVA, the Australian questionnaire sent out asked only two questions - what conditions had been accepted by DVA and what other conditions they were suffering from, and the Australian veterans were not sent any of the explanatory information forwarded to the British. It is thus very difficult to make direct comparisons with the British results.


From a study of the 348 resultant replies, Dr John Bradley has calculated that 10% had cancer, 20% had heart diseases, 20% had respiratory problems, 25% had hearing loss, 25% had arthritis problems and 35% had anxiety or stress disorders, but all those figure could well be higher, particularly arthritis, as specific diseases were not listed. Strangely, approximately 25% of the replies listed no illnesses or diseases, but this seems very suspect because of the nature of the questions asked and lack of any additional information provided. For all these reasons he says such figures can only be accepted at this stage as very incomplete and very much a preliminary result. Although these results are also from veterans still living at the time, the relevant comments for the UK figures are also very applicable, namely,  - " In comparing these figures to the general civilian populace it is very important, and often overlooked or ignored, that, unlike their civilian counterparts, they are from a large body of young men who were specially selected for service because of their robust good health and lack of medical or potential medical problems. And although, at the time they replied, they probably averaged an age of about 68, now doubt many of the disabilities they list were probably contracted much earlier, and in some or many cases probably became manifest just after the war. Therefore they DO NOT represent merely a medical picture of old men. " Clearly, more detailed research is needed to ascertain those matters.


But, nonetheless, those high percentages do appear to generally support the UK, Canadian and Australian deductions that Korean veterans were exposed to a very wide range of potent, toxic chemicals, pesticides, insecticides, carcinogens, solvents, petrochemicals etc which have had disastrous, long term consequences on their immune and bodily systems and their health, and, apparently in many cases early, premature death as a direct result of such exposures during the war. (copies previously forwarded to DVA). (2004 note - The Korean War Veterans Mortality Study Report released quietly recently, supports the disturbingly high rate of early deaths for Korean veterans - my brief comments available on the Internet for world-wide study at (http://www.oprus2001.co.uk/colonel2.htm) - War Veterans’ Chemically Induced Illnesses and Diseases. It was produced finally after 6 1/2 years after it was to be done in 3 years.)




In 1994, KVA CANADA submitted a request for acceptance of what they termed an Early Death Syndrome for their Korean veterans. We have a copy of the departmental reply, which, in our personal opinion, and that of Mr Les Peate (Executive Officer, KVA CANADA), is far from satisfactory, and seems to deliberately avoid addressing the principles and relevant facts of the matter. It is interesting, that apparently independently from UK, the Canadian Korean veterans were also convinced that their members were dying too early in large numbers as a direct result of their exposure to a very wide range of potent, toxic poisonous chemicals, pesticides, insecticides, carcinogens, solvents, petrochemicals  etc which have had disastrous, long term consequences on immune and other bodily systems, their health, and, apparently in many cases early, premature death as a direct result of their service in Korea. Mr Peate advises that they are in the process of contesting the rejection of their claim. (copies previously forwarded to DVA).




In order to understand why these substances, initially introduced in the mistaken belief that they were safe to use on humans and would  overcome the causes of many endemic diseases, destroy mosquitoes, mice, rats, lice, mites, insect crop predators etc, it is necessary to study their recent, ever increasing development.  The Second World War provided an incentive for the manufacture of a wide range of chemicals.


After the war, industry sought military and non military applications of many of these chemicals in the manufacture of textiles, plastics, drugs, paints, rubber, pesticides and cosmetics. The relative cheap price of oil meant that products derived from it could be produced economically. Most of the products mentioned are ultimately derived from petroleum via complex manufacturing processes. The relative cheap cost of their production and useful qualities has led to their wide usage in everyday (and military)  use. Many of the new materials are more volatile than traditional alternatives. A US study found that the release of chemicals from various such materials (particularly from eg polyesters, polyethylenes, polyvinyls, silicones, polyurethanes) and that low level release of chemicals from synthetic products was affecting the sensitive equipment on space craft. Many of the materials introduced into homes in the last 30 years are clearly less stable than traditional alternatives and release low levels of chemicals over long periods of time, which can potentially affect the CHEMICALLY SENSITIVE, whose immune and other bodily systems have already been damaged (such as those Korean veteran's whose immune and bodily systems have been permanently damaged from all the chemicals, pesticides, insecticides, carcinogens, solvents, petrochemicals etc to which they were exposed during that war).


Overall changes in home design and furnishings have led to an increased contamination of the home. Synthetic chemicals are incorporated in particle board, foam underlays, carpets based on synthetic textiles, polyesters in clothing, linen and furnishings, rubber and soft plastics, as well as aerosols and other products used for cleaning and cosmetic purposes. Changes in home design have gradually reduced the rate of air turnover in the home so that chemicals released build up to higher concentrations. Outdoor pollution has also increased in recent decades, partly through the large scale combustion of coal and related fuels, but as a result of wide spread use of motor vehicles and the extension of the industry. With the vast expansion of in the production of chemicals in recent decades, a whole range of new chemical products is now encountered particularly in industry and the military, such as solvents, painting and printing, dyes and plastics, exposure to vehicle exhausts, solvents used in cleaning parts and spray painting, solvents in printers or photocopying fluids and mould spores from air conditioning, gas and petroleum heating systems, solvents, texta pens, disinfectants, antibiotics and other medications, pesticides, fungicides and diesel emissions. By the end of WW2, prior to the Korean War, and as a result of all the tremendous scientific and industrial progress made as a result of the war, there commenced an explosion in the research and development of chemicals, pesticides, insecticides, solvents, petrochemicals and fuels, radiation emitting substances and the development of a wide range of cheap materials, such as plastics. For example, DDT was introduced as a wonder chemical that would eradicate the ravages of malaria and other tropical diseases ( which it certainly, initially, partly did ).


It was sprayed indiscriminately on crops, housing and, individuals, in accordance with authorised government instructions. It was only in the 1960's (nearly a decade after the Korean War) that the long term dangers of all these, and their deadly effects not only Korean veterans and other humans, but on the environment, on bird, animals, fish and water supplies and the whole food chain, began to be first questioned in " Silent Spring," by Rachel Carson. As more and more scientific research was undertaken and confirmed the dangers (despite the opposition of the many vested commercial interests, including governments who would have to pay compensation to veterans), it became ever increasingly clear what deadly perils, in all innocence, had been inflicted on the world and on servicemen. Slowly, but surely, as the terrible dangers began to be accepted countries began outlawing more and more of these deadly substances. You have only to think back to the Wittenoom disaster in Australia, concerning the mining of asbestos (whose deadly effects only started to become obvious in humans 30 or 40 years after exposure), the disastrous effects such asbestos fibres have had on individuals, particularly sailors, including the deaths of two State governors; the outcry in Victoria over the Department of Agriculture authorised use of DDT, DIELDEN and similar pesticides on potato crops, cattle and humans, when years later, the disastrous, long term effects became known.


They are only just two examples in Australia. The events overseas have progressively revealed more and more examples of how the planet, its inhabitants and servicemen on operational service, are being greatly threatened. In the USA, it is estimated that over 6,000 children die every year from eating apples sprayed with pesticides.




Note : A long-time activist, Dr Kate Short (now Dr Kate Hughes, who was appointed by the Government responsible for all environmental issues at the Sydney Olympics) helped establish the Pesticides Monitor at the Total Environment Centre in Sydney. She currently writes on a range of environmental issues and is an advocate for people affected by pesticides. After six years of research she brings her exhaustive study of the topic into public view. This expose' of the impacts of a variety of poisons on ill informed users and a mostly unsuspecsting public will both shock and inform, not only civilians, but Korean veterans. While it concentrates on the use of pesticides in Australia, its contents are very relevant to Korean veterans, who were regularly exposed not only to pesticides, but also to a whole cocktail of toxic chemicals, solvents, pharmaceutical drugs, radiation and petro-chemicals, in total, probably much greater than that experienced by any Australian civilian, resulting in a much greater degree of early deaths and a multitude of debilitating illnesses and diseases amongst those veterans and  their wives and children.


" Introduction :


" Pesticides are poisons and many are as lethal as arsenic and cyanide. When people are exposed to these old-fashioned toxins, they rapidly develop dramatic symptoms of poisoning and the same can happen with pesticides. If they are swallowed, absorbed through the skin or inhaled, vomiting, nausea, diarrhoea, excessive sweating, convulsions, coma, even death can result. Pesticides that cause these symptoms are described as acutely toxic. They are quick poisons that can, and do, kill with a few drops.


" Quick poisoning is a big problem in Thirld World countries where information about pesticide risks is hard to find. It also happens in industrialised societies, such as Australia, Japan, the USA and Europe, despite the many 'safe use' education programs that have been introduced in recent years.


" But pesticides are more than just poisons in the traditional sense. They can also be slow poisons, because they cause sickness in people who are regularly exposed to small doses over long periods of time. These delayed impacts can take months or years to develop and are the result of a pesticide's chronic toxicity.


" Many pesticides are both quick and slow poisons, while others do not give rise to any symptoms of acute toxicity. As slow poisons their various impacts include cancers, blood disorders, liver, immune and central nervous system damage, chemical 'allergy', asthma and psychological disorders. Pesticides can also damage the unborn and affect the health of future generations, and contribute to less serious complaints, such as constant fatihue and headaches, and a host of other minor ailments. Although these are not life-threatening disorders, they certainly detract from the quality of life and are a real economic cost to the community.


" There are thousands of Australians who suffer from pesticide poisoning and believe that their experience of exposure constitutes valid evidence of harm. However, they have learned, often  from bitter experience, that their ill-health does not constitute scientific proof of harm and many suffer silently, quietly angry about a health system that ignores them and allows others to be similarly damaged because the toxic link is not proven.


" The situation is comparable to that which existed 30 years ago, when the tobacco and asbestos industries successfully defended their products by aggressively dominating a similar debate about proof and causation. For years, the industries argued that lack of conclusive scientific proof of harm constituted sufficient evidence of safety, and by these means managed to delay the inevitable regulation of their industries. However, when the number of human casualties eventually reached a critical mass, governments were obliged to make laws that are today accepted as necessary and reasonable.


" Sometime in the future, similar controls will be placed on pesticide use and again, it will be people, not governments, who will finally have forced change. Some of them are already active and their current struggles are a major focus of this book. Their experience tells us that people rarely get satisfactory answers to questions about slow poisons, that governments consistently disparage public concerns about their risks and often try to exclude ordinary people from the debate. Even the most rigorous and compelling lay evidence is ignored, on the grounds that only professionally trained 'experts' should concern themselves with such scientifically complex matters.


" Yet, despite their continual assertions of professionalism, many Australian regulators, researchers and physicians appear reluctant to absorb new information about pesticide toxicity, and are hostile to new hypotheses about risk. In many Western countries, such hypotheses are now gaining credibility, and many national administrations have been compelled to rethink their approach to pesticide risk and establish new frameworks for assessment and control. This has involved the development of sophisticated information systems which provide regulators with a wealth of technical data and 'state of the art' statistical modelling programs. The new systems cannot, however, offer definitive solutions to the political and social questions about pesticides, and society has yet to find an acceptable balance between the short-term economic 'necessity' of pesticide use and the long-term ecological need to reduce pesticide pollution worldwide.


" Unfortunately, Australian authorities appear unimpressed with new approaches to risk assessment and have responded to the challenge of reform by assertion rather than substance. State and federal governments continue to represent the Australian regulatory system as amongst the strictest in the world, even though they are years behind the many other nations who have already embarked on the tortuous road to reform. Australian regulators fiercely resist this process and regularly challenge the validity of the science upon which new policies and regulations are based. They have even portrayed foreign governments' responses to pesticide pollution as overly responive to pressures from the environment and consumer movements. At best, the concerned public are portrayed as ignorant or ill-advised, at worst motivated by emotion, ideology or financial self-gain.


" The tactic of attacking the argument by attacking the proponents is time-honoured in Australia. Many in the community have experienced harassment, insult and intimidation when they have spoken out against pesticides. Much of this treatment has come from government officials and the medical profession, some of whom seem prepared to defend pesticide use at any cost. In this they are backed up by pesticide makers and sellers, whose job is to 'hose down' public concern about pesticide risk. Luckily, they have not succeeded. Forty years of exposure is becoming impossible to ignore and in the last decade, citizen-initiated campaigns against pesticide pollution have gained credibility with the public. In many ways, the activists have done the job of the public service by identifying the pesticide profile of their communities and investigating the public health and environment, conducted surveys, taken samples, written letters, prepared petitions, lobbied governments, negotiated with growers, and in some cases even taken legal action in an endeavour to protect themselves and their communities from exposure. So far, they have had limited success. A smokescreen of bad science and corporate confidentiality has constrained the public's right to know, limited its efforts to achieve justice, and restricted its right to challenge current orthodoxy.


" This book is written to inform you about these issues, and to offer ideas as to there ultimate solution. It is divided into four sections. The first deals with pesticide toxicity, and explains the difference between acute and chronic; between quick and slow poisons. It looks at a number of scientific and medical studies, provides examples through case studies, and discusses pesticide impacts on the unborn. The second section looks at exposure. It details Australia's pesticide load, and explains how pesticides contaminate people and their environment. It also outlines the technical and procedural limitations of their measurement. The third section is about pesticide assessment. It looks critically at the way governments evaluate pesticides and discusses the limitations of of current approaches to evaluation. It also documents the many gaps in knowledge about pesticide toxicity, discusses the implications of corporate secrecy on data credibility and explains how this contributes to pesticide risk. The fourth section looks at the social and political dimensions of risk and compares Australian with European and American approaches to assessment, secrecy, risk and reform. Finally, the Appendices provide an Agenda for Reform and offer suggestions on the strategy and tactics people can use to protect themselves and their communities from pesticide exposure.


" This book includes references to specific studies of pesticide toxicity and human disease. The number of studies discussed is by no means comprehensive, as there are thousands in existence. My aim has been to indicate the content and thrust of research on pesticide toxicity rather than endeavour to 'keep-up' with all relevant studies. I have made the selection with a conscious bias toward those that support my hypothesis. This hypothesis proposes that pesticides create significant health risks that are largely unrecognised by Australian health authorities, regulators, lawyers, physicians and the insurance industry."


2004 Update & Postscript. Copy of my letter sent worldwide on the Internet in April 2004


Korean War Veterans Mortality Study Report & Toxic Chemicals


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 1997 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 19.3.04  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 that those in the Vietnam Veterans Morality 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 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 those 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%, ischaemic 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 ischaemic 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%, respiratory 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 51%.


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.


Brief Comments :


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/neuro-toxic 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, 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 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 famiies 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 your stand. After 10 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.


Attached in support of my comments is a copy of a 5 page paper signed on 25 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 1 October 2003.


Yours very sincerely,


A copy of that letter and a copy of the 5 page supporting  document from Professor Emerituss Malcolm Hooper of Sunderland University, prepared by him following his visit to my home last year and studying all my research material, is already on the Internet for world-wide study at (http://www.oprus2001.co.uk/colonel2.htm) - War Veterans’ Chemically Induced Illnesses and Diseases.




List of Abbreviations and Glossary : See paper KVM&HSC 3


List of Endemic Diseases and Unusual and Unsanitary , Unhealthy Environmental Conditions in Japan and Korea during the Korean War : See paper KVM&HSC 4.


List of Toxic Chemicals etc to which Korean Veterans were regularly Exposed during the Korean War : See paper KVM&HSC 5.


Supporting Medical Statements : See paper KVM&HSC 6.


Exposure Data Measurement, Army Instructions, & Simultaneous Regular Exposure to Cocktail of Toxic Chemicals in Confined, Unventilated, Underground  Bunkers : See KVM&HSC 9.


Symptom Checklists of toxic chemicals : See paper KVM&HSC 10.


Tests for " toxic chemicals,":  See KVM&HC12. 


Illnesses and Diseases from Effects of Unusual Conditions of Severe Combat in the Korean War : See KVM&HSC 13.


Illnesses and Diseases from Effects of Exposure to many Endemic Diseases & Unsanitary, Unhealthy, Environmental Conditions of Japan & Korea  in the Korean War : See KVM&HSC 14.


Illnesses and Diseases from  toxic chemicals  in the Korean War : See KVM&HSC 15.


Reference Material and Bibliographies : See paper KVM&HSC 16.


Abbreviations :

MCS.            Multiple Chemical Sensitivities.

CHEMEX.  Ashford, Nicholas & Miller, Claudia. " Chemical Exposures : low levels and high stakes." New York : Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1991.

UNO.         " Consolidated list of products whose consumption and/or sale have been banned, withdrawn, severely restricted or not approved by governments." New York : United Nations Organisation, 4th edn, 1991.

EIS.          Rogers, Sherry. " The EI Syndrome : an Rx for environmental health." Syracuse : Prestige, 1986.

FARC.     " Fifth Annual Report on Carcinogens : summary 1989." Research Triangle Park, NC : United States Department of Health and Human Services, 1989.

IARC.      " Occupational Exposures in Insecticide Application, and some pesticides." Lyon : World Health Organisation - International Agency for Research on Cancer, 1991 ( IARC monographs on the evaluation of  carcinogenic risks to humans, vol 53 ).

JPR.        " Journal of Pesticide Reform."

NTP.     " National Toxicology Program : fiscal year 1989 annual plan." United States Department of Health and Human Services, 1989.

RSSC.   " Report of the Senate Select Committee on Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals in Australia." Canberra : AGPS, 1990.

TOT.      Rogers, Sherry. " Tired or Toxic ? a blueprint for health." Syracuse : Prestige, 1990.


References :

1. " Possible models  for chemical sensitivity : conceptual issues and role of limbic system." Lecture by Claudia Miller at conference on MCS, Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics, Washington, 20-21 Sep 1991.

2. Rogers, Sherry A. " Chemical Sensitivity : breaking the paralyzing paradigm. Part 2 : diagnosis and treatment." Internal Medicine World Report, vol 7, no 3, 1992, pp 8-13.

3. Stacey, Conway & Tatum, Tania " House Treatment with organochlorine  pesticides and their levels in human milk - Perth, Western Australia," Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, vol 35, 1985, pp 202-8.

4. Stacey, CI & Thomas,B W. " Organochlorine pesticide residues in human milk, Western Australia, 1970-71 " Pesticides Monitoring Journal, vol 9, no 2, 1975, pp 64-6; Stacey, C I; Perriman, W S & Whitney, S " Organochlorine pesticide residue levels in human milk, Western Australia,1979-80." Archives of Environmental Health, vol 40, no 2, 1985, pp 102-8 ( Both papers cited in a Review of the use of heptachlor ).

5. Epstein, Samuel. Critique on the May 1988 report of the Western Australia Health Department on ' heptachlor for the control of Argentine ants;' ( unpublished paper ); IARC; Infante, P F; Epstein, S S Newton, W A Jr. " Blood dyscrasias and childhood tumours and exposures to chlordane and heptachlor." Scandinavian Journal of Work and Environmental Health, vol 4, 1978.

6. An assessment of the health risks of seven pesticides used for termite control. Washington; National Academy of Sciences, 1982.

7. Parathion and Phosdrin. Worker Health and Safety Unit, Californian Department of Food and Agriculture, 1982 ( Pesticide safety information series B-3).

8. UNO, pp 256-7.

9. Savage, Eldon; Keefe, Thomas; Mounce, Lawrence; Heaton, Robert; Lewis, James & Burcar, Patricia. "Chronic neurological sequelae of acute organophosphate pesticide poisoning." Archives of Environmental Health, vol 43, 1988, pp 38-45.

10. Rosenstock, Linda; Keifer, Matthew; Daniel, William E; McConnell, Robert; Claypoole, Keith & the Pesticide health Effects Study Group ( University of Washington ). " Chronic central nervous system effects of acute organophosphate pesticide intoxication." The Lancet, vol 338, 27 Jul 1991, pp 223-7.

11. O'Brien, Mary, " Are pesticides taking away the ability of our children to learn ?" JPR, vol 10, no 4, 1990-91, pp 4-8.

12. Newcome, David S. " Immune surveillance, organophosphorous exposure, and lymphomagenis." The Lancet, vol 339, Feb 1992, pp 539-41.

13. Mueller-Beilschmidt, Doria. " The toxicology and environmental fate of synthetic pyrethoids." JPR, vol 10, no 3, 1990, pp 32-7.

14. Mueller- Beilschmidt, Doria. " The chemistry, development, and economics of synthetic pyrethoids," JPR, vol 10, no 2, 1990, pp 41-4; " Resistance of insect pests and disease vectors to synthetic pyrethoids," JPR, vol 10, no 4, 1990, pp 34-8.

15. Cabral, J P R; Galendo, D; Laval, M & Lyandrat, N. " Carcinogenic studies with deltamethrin in mice and rats." Cancer Letters, vol 49, 1990, pp 147-52. Cited in IARC, pp 258 & 264.

16. "A-Z of Chemicals in the Home." Sydney : Total Environmental Centre, 1986, pp 86-8.

17. " Pesticide Fact Sheet no 221 : Sumithrin," Washington ; US Environmental Protection Agency, Nov 1987.

18. " Lawn Care Pesticides - risks remain uncertain while prohibited safety claims continue." Washington : US General Accounting Office, 1990.

19. Mott, Lawrie & Snyder, Karen. " Pesticide alert : a guide to pesticides in fruit and vegetables." San Fransisco : Sierra Club, 1987, p8; Tattersall, Ann. " Is EPA registration a guarantee of pesticide safety ?" JPR, vol 6, no 1, 1986, pp 40-2.

20. " Pesticides : 30 years since Silent Spring - many long-standing concerns remain." Washington : US General Accounting Office, 1992, p 1.

21. Tattersall, Ann " Is EPA registration a guarantee of pesticide safety ?" JPR, vol 6, no 1, 1986, p 42.

22. Ibid, p 40.

23. Ibid.

24. Tattersall, Ann, " Is EPA registration a guarantee of pesticide safety ?" JPR, vol 6, no 1, 1986, p 42.

25. " The poisons around us - will they make our future unbearable ?" Toronto Star, 19 Oct 1989.

26. NTP, p 123.

27. Rogers, Paul. " Human health hazards " in Safer Pest Control for Australian Homes and Gardens, Sydney : Kangaroo Press, 1986; Robbins, Christopher. " Poisoned Harvest : a consumers guide to pesticide use and abuse." London : Victor Gollancz, 1991, pp 58-9.

28. Shearer, Ruth. " Health Effects of 2,4-D herbicide." Curtis, Jennifer, ed. " Pesticide Exposure and the Role of the Physician." Eugene : Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides," 1986, pp 33-40.

29. Karol, Meryl H. " Design of animal models to probe the mechanisms of multiple chemical sensitivity," MCS, pp 65-76.

30. Mott, Lawrie & Snyder, Karen. " Pesticide Alert : a guide to pesticides in fruit and vegetables." San Fransisco : Sierra Club, 1987.

31. " Neurobehavioural tests on pesticides urged." The Nation's Health, April 1987, p10.

32. Carson, Rachel. " Silent Spring." Ringwood : Penguin, 1986, pp 179-80.

33. Dux, John F & Young, P J. " Agent Orange : the bitter harvest." Sydney : Hodder and Stoughton, 1980, pp 3-5.

34. Goldstein, Norman P; Jones, Peter H & Brown, Joe R. " Peripheral neuropathy after exposure to an ester of dichlorophenoxyacetic acid." Journal of the American Medical Association, vol 71, no 10, 7 Nov 1959, pp 1306-9.

35. Carson, Rachel. " Silent Spring." Ringwood : Penguin, 1986, 9 181.

36. Shearer, Ruth. " Health effects of 2,4-D herbicide." Curtis, Jennifer, (ed). " Pesticide Exposure and the Role of the Physician." Eugene : Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides," 1986, pp 33-40.

37. Warnock, John & Lewis, Jay. " The Other Face of 2,4-D." British Columbia : South Okanagan Environmental Coalition, 1978, chapters 2 & 3.

38. For Russian study, see Shearer, Ruth. " Health effects of 2,4-D herbicide." ( ref 33 above ); for general overview of effects of 2,4-D see Ibid; McMullen, Ron. " Phenoxy herbicides and soft tissue sarcoma - again." JPR, vol 9, no 1, 1989, pp 30-1; Bane, Gwen. " 2,4-D." JPR, vol 11, no 3, 1991, pp 21-5.

39. For list of original references, see : Axelson, Olav; Persson, Bodil & Hardell, Lennart. " New Swedish studies on malignant lymphomas, soft tissue sarcomas and occupational exposures." Evatt Revisited : Interpretation of Scientific Evidence. Sydney : Centre for Human Aspects of Science  and Technology, The University of Sydney, 1989, pp 19-22; Axelson, O. " Pesticides and health : some problems in risk assessment." Ibid, pp 7-17.

40. Hoar, Sheila; Blair, Aaron; Holmes, Frederick; Boysen, Cathy; Robel, Robert; Hoover, Robert & Fraumeni, Joseph. " Agricultural herbicide use and the risk of lymphoma and soft-tissue  sarcoma." Journal of the American Medical Association, vol 256, 1986, pp 1141-7.

41. Hayes, Howard M; Tarone, Robert E; Cantor, Kenneth; Jessen, Carl R; McCurnin, Dennis M & Richardson, Ralph C. " Case control study of canine malignant lymphoma : positive association with dog owner's use of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid herbicides." Journal of the National Cancer Institute, vol 83, no 17, 14 Sep 1991, pp 1226-31.

42. Shearer, Ruth. " Health effects of 2,4-D herbicide." ( ref 33 above ).

43. Van Strum, Carol. " A Bitter Fog : herbicides and human rights." San Fransisco : Sierra Club, 1983; Warnock, John & Lewis, Jay. " The other face of 2,4-D "( ref  34 above ), throughout, but especially chapter 6.

44. " The Nature of Things with David Suzuki." CBC : Show #25, 1990-91.

45. " Evatt Revisited : interpretation of scientific evidence." Sydney : CHAST, 1989.

46. Lusetich, Robert, " Agent Orange guilty." The Bulletin, 10 Mar 1992.

47. " Report of the Australian Royal Commission on the Agent Orange controversy." Rural Water Commission of Victoria, Jul 1990.

48. Dux, John & Young, P J. " Agent Orange : the bitter harvest." Sydney : Hodder and Stoughton, 1980, pp 86-7; Van Strum, Carol. " A Bitter Fog." ( ref 40 above ), throughout.


Copies (photocopying and distribution by Dr Horsley, as agreed ) to :

Each member of Repatriation Korean Veterans' Mortality Study Consultative Committee and Scientific Advisory Committee,

Dr K.Horsley, Contact Officer, DVA,

DVA, numbers as decided by Dr Horsley for other committees and for DVA,

Independent KV Mortality & Health Study Committee (10). Please despatch to Colonel A.Limburg, CVO,(RL), 29 Threadbow Crescent, Wheelers Hill, 3150.

Minister for Veterans' Affairs,

Shadow Minister for Veterans' Affairs,

National President RSL,

National President, RDFWA,

Victorian President RSL,

Federal President T&PI Association,

Federal Member for Bruce.



If anyone reading this  feels you would like to take some action regarding this matter, please contact in Australia  Mr. Mark Bishop Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs  and Mr. Chris Evans Shadow Minister for Defence senator.bishop@aph.gov.au   and senator.evans@aph.gov.au  and Mr. Alan Griffin MP Federal Member for Bruce, Victoria, Australia   Alan.Griffin.MP@aph.gov.au  and Danna Vale Minister for Veterans’ Affairs  Danna.Vale.MP@aph.gov.au    Mr. Mark Latham  Leader of the Opposition M.Latham.MP@aph.gov.au     Mr. Bob Brown  Australian Greens  Senator.Brown@aph.gov.au

Mr. Andrew Bartlett   Leader of the Australian Democrats  senator.bartlett@aph.gov.au  and also you can write  Mr. John Howard Prime Minister of Australia, Parliament House, Canberra. Australia

And also to  the Prime Minister/President of your own Countries also, please.

ALSO PLEASE SEE  http://www.wtv-zone.com/infchoice/mcs_australia.html

Dated 30/6/2004.

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