Pesticide Use during the Gulf War: A Survey of Gulf War Veterans

By Ronald D. Fricker Jr.; Elaine Reardon et al. | Go to book overview

PREFACE

Some veterans of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm (ODS/DS) have reported an array of health complaints, including fatigue, joint pain, skin rash, memory loss, and diarrhea. Many of these veterans attribute their poor health to deployment to the Persian Gulf. Whether these veterans are experiencing higher-than-expected rates of identifiable illnesses with known etiologies or other illnesses of unknown origins is the subject of a great deal of on-going research.

This study was commissioned by the Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense for Gulf War Illnesses to help quantify how pesticides were used during ODS/DS because overexposure to pesticides can cause symptoms similar to those reported by some Gulf War veterans. The goal of this survey is to quantify pesticide use by the average soldier during ODS/DS: Which pesticides were used, who used them, and in what quantities. Our results complement other data collection efforts by the Department of Defense, such as interviews with military preventive medicine personnel and entomologists. Designed as one part of the larger research effort, this survey provides information only about pesticide use; it was not designed to investigate whether such use is related to health outcomes or symptoms.

Two other reports, to be published concurrently with this one, examine the literature on the known effects of pesticides on health and the possible effects of pesticides on troops in the Gulf War. One examines the latest scientific knowledge about the possible human health effects of pesticides (see Cecchine et al., forthcoming). The other, being prepared by the Office of the Special Assistant for Gulf War Illnesses (OSAGWI), investigates what happened in the Gulf and its likely effect on the service members who served there. They will provide additional information about pesticides that, in conjunction with the information in this report, may help address the broader question of health effects for veterans of ODS/DS.

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Pesticide Use during the Gulf War: A Survey of Gulf War Veterans
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Figures ix
  • Table xi
  • Summary xv
  • Acknowledgments xxvii
  • Acronyms xxix
  • A Note on Trade Names xxxi
  • Chapter One - Introduction 1
  • Chapter Two - Survey and Sample Description 7
  • Chapter Three - Survey Results 19
  • Chapter Four - Living Conditions and Variations in Pesticide Use 43
  • Chapter Five - Potential Misuse or Overuse of Pesticides 57
  • Appendix A - Main Survey Instrument 69
  • Appendix B - Definition of the Sampling Frame and Sample 75
  • Appendix C - Analytic Methods 95
  • Appendix D - Evaluating Recall Bias 107
  • References 117
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