Health Resources for Vets
By Andy GERO
Some veterans of the U.S. Armed forces may have been exposed to substances such as ionizing radiation and Agent Orange that are known to cause cancer. Veterans who were exposed to these agents several decades ago may now be at an age when cancer might develop. The Veterans Administration has identified specific activities in which veterans may have been exposed during atmospheric nuclear weapons testing by inhaled or ingested radioactive substances known as “radionuclides.”
The National Institute of Health (NIH) has also provided studies related to important scientific understanding of the level of lifetime risks possible from low-level radiation exposure. This could occur during occupational circumstances, medical imaging examinations, environmental cleanups, nuclear waste disposal and “dirty bomb” attacks.
Veterans’ exposure to various forms of radiation may be at risk for leukemia and cancer of vital organs, including bones, urinary tract, bronchiolo-alveolar, etc.
To schedule an evaluation, contact an environmental health coordinator at any VA medical facility, or online at www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/coordinators.asp. Information is also available through VA’s helpline at (800) 749-8387.
Crescenta Valley veterans are cordially invited with their families to attend the VFW Post 1614 meetings on the third Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m. and the American Legion Post 288 meetings on the first Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m., located at 4011 La Crescenta Ave., in La Crescenta. Membership is not required.
Andy Gero is a life member of both the VFW and American Legion. He may be reached at Veterans Corner by mail at 4011 La Crescenta Ave., La Crescenta, CA 91214; email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (818) 541-1336.