WASHINGTON (CN) – The Department of Veterans Affairs plans to create a presumption of herbicide exposure for veterans who served in or near the Korean demilitarized zone between April 1, 1968, and July 31, 1969 in certain military units operated where herbicides are known to have been applied.
The presumption of exposure would also extend to the veterans’ children who were born with spina bifida.
The area in which the VA and Defense Department have determined herbicides were applied is along a 150-mile strip on the southern edge of the DMZ, north of where civilians were allowed. The Korean DMZ is a heavily armed buffer zone between North and South Korea.
The military units known to have been in the area at the time are listed in the preamble to the proposed rule, but will not appear in the Code of Federal Regulations, in case adjustments are needed.
Veterans of units not listed are not precluded from filing for benefits.
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