Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Texas Department of Health, Bureau of Disease Control and Epidemiology, Texas Veterans Agent Orange Assistance Program:

An Inventory of Records at the Texas State Archives, 1966-1969, 1981-1986 (bulk 1981-1985)



Overview

Creator: Texas Veterans Agent Orange Assistance Program.
Title: Records
Dates: 1966-1969, 1981-1986
Dates: (bulk 1981-1985)
Abstract: Types of records include committee minutes, correspondence, memos, studies, reports, research files, cassette tapes, newsletters, photographs, and program logs. Dates covered are 1966-1969, 1981-1986, the bulk dating 1981-1985. Records are of the activities and research of the Texas Veterans Agent Orange Assistance Program of the Texas Department of Health including the Subject Selection Committee and the Agent Orange Advisory Committee. Committee files, correspondence, administrative files and other records document both the administration of the Agent Orange program and its work with the veterans including the collection of clinical data for pilot medical studies. Many of the records consist of studies, reports, and research materials on Agent Orange compiled by the program staff. Some of this material came from Agent Orange programs in other states. Contacts with the veterans were kept anonymous and confidential through the use of a numerical code assigned to each veteran. Program logs were used to keep track of the contacts and the codes.
Quantity: 8 cubic ft.
Language English.

Agency History

The Texas Veterans Agent Orange Assistance Program was created by House Bill 2129, 67th Legislature, in June 1981 and amended by Senate Bill 370, 68th Legislature, in May 1983. The purpose of the program was to assist Texas veterans of the Vietnam conflict who may have been exposed to Agent Orange, a herbicide used as a defoliant in Vietnam between 1965-1971 by U.S. military forces, and suspected of creating long-term health problems to those exposed. The Texas Department of Health's Bureau of Epidemiology administered the Agent Orange program and investigated the cause and effect relationships between the exposure of Vietnam veterans to herbicides, chemical defoliants, or other causative agents and the emergence of health problems. Veterans were referred to the program at the veteran's request if their physician or hospital suspected them of having a medical condition related to Agent Orange exposure. A Subject Selection Committee reviewed the medical records of referred veterans to determine eligibility for the program and selected veterans suitable for further study. The Department of Health and the University of Texas Health Science Centers cooperated in determining if the selected veterans had suffered their physical damage as a result of chemical exposure, and in performing pilot studies. The veterans were also offered genetic screening and counseling and were referred to state and federal agencies for medical and financial assistance. In addition, the Department of Health was to conduct a long-term epidemiological study of selected veterans or of veterans who had children born with birth defects after the parent's suspected exposure to chemical agents. The amending legislation, Senate Bill 370, also provided for the Agent Orange Advisory Committee. This committee was composed of twelve members including three Vietnam era veterans, who met four times a year and advised the Texas Board of Health on the administration and implementation of the Agent Orange program. Dr. George Anderson, M.D., was director of the Agent Orange program for the Department of Health. Harriet Franson was the program manager. Funding for the Agent Orange program was not continued by the Texas Legislature and the program was phased out as of August 31, 1985.


Scope and Contents of the Records

Types of records include committee minutes, correspondence, memos, studies, reports, research files, cassette tapes, newsletters, photographs, and program logs. Dates covered are 1966-1969, 1981-1986, the bulk dating 1981-1985. Records are of the activities and research of the Texas Veterans Agent Orange Assistance Program of the Texas Department of Health including the Subject Selection Committee and the Agent Orange Advisory Committee. Committee files, correspondence, administrative files and other records document both the administration of the Agent Orange program and its work with the veterans including the collection of clinical data for pilot medical studies. Many of the records consist of studies, reports, and research materials on Agent Orange compiled by the program staff. Some of this material came from Agent Orange programs in other states. Contacts with the veterans were kept anonymous and confidential through the use of a numerical code assigned to each veteran. Program logs were used to keep track of the contacts and the codes.

Minutes are from the Subject Selection Committee and record the decisions of the committee as they reviewed the medical histories of referred veterans and selected those eligible for the Agent Orange program. Other committee files include memos and copies of legislation from the Subject Selection Committee and correspondence and cassette tapes of meetings from the Agent Orange Advisory Committee. Correspondence files include original incoming, Department of Health memos, and copies of outgoing correspondence. The incoming correspondence often has a Department of Health memo attached discussing what action was taken in regard to that letter. Subject matter of the correspondence consists of requests for information on how the program was set up, how clinical studies were carried out, the costs involved, the outreach program conducted in Texas, and the demise of program. Other frequent correspondence topics include the Agent Orange program annual report, clinical study protocols, enabling legislation, and preliminary results of the studies. Much of the correspondence is from Vietnam veterans, their families, veterans' organizations and support groups. State agency correspondents include the Attorney General, Department of Corrections, the Health Science Centers of the University of Texas, and the Texas Veterans Commission. Other correspondents include the U.S. Veteran's Administration, other federal agencies, physicians, and hospitals. The studies, reports and research files include a wide variety of data assembled by the Agent Orange staff as they tested for links between Agent Orange and health problems of the veterans. One item of interest is a photographic scrapbook of chemical spraying and defoliation in Vietnam. Other records include newsletters of Vietnam veterans organizations, reports and correspondence from Agent Orange programs from other states, and copies of the “Agent Orange Review” published by the Veterans Administration. Program logs were used to keep track of Agent Orange referrals, requests for consultations, and studies of the veterans. Veterans contacted the program seeking medical consultation and assistance on occupational, psychological, and toxicological problems. Selected veterans were included in an enzyme study, cytogenetic testing, or an immunity evaluation. The identity of the veterans was kept anonymous by using the coded number in the logs.

To prepare this inventory, the described materials were cursorily reviewed to delineate series, to confirm the accuracy of contents lists, to provide an estimate of dates covered, and to determine record types.


 

Organization of the Records

Records are divided into topics organized as committee files, correspondence, administrative files, studies and tests, research files, Agent Orange programs in other states, and program logs.

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

The original control log is confidential (as set out by 38 U.S. Code, Section 3301) because it contains the names and addresses of the veterans in the study. A redacted copy of the control log from which the veterans names and addresses have been removed is available in the accession files. Ask reference staff for retrieval of the redacted log.

Index cards and mailing lists, containing the names and address of the veterans in the study are also confidential for the same reasons. They are not listed in the folder inventory. Ask the reference staff for assistance.

Restrictions on Use

None.


Index Terms

The terms listed here were used to catalog the records. The terms can be used to find similar or related records.
Subjects:
Agent Orange.
Veterans--Medical care.
Document Types:
Correspondence--Texas--Agent Orange--1981-1986.
Reports--Texas--Agent Orange--1981-1985.
Minutes--Texas--Agent Orange--1981-1985.
Newsletters--Texas--Agent Orange--1981-1985.
Photographs--Texas--Agent Orange--1966-1969.
Audio cassettes--Texas--Agent Orange--1981-1985.
Functions:
Researching Agent Orange.

Related Material

The following materials are offered as possible sources of further information on the agencies and subjects covered by the records. The listing is not exhaustive.

Texas State Archives
Texas Veterans Commission, Records, [between 1935 and 1937], 1936, 1944, 1947-2000, 2.55 cubic ft.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

(Identify the item), Records, Texas Veterans Agent Orange Assistance Program, Bureau of Disease Control and Epidemiology, Texas Department of Health. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Accession Information

Accession number: 1991/35

These records were transferred to the Texas State Archives by the Texas Department of Health, via the Records Management Division of the Texas State Library, on December 7, 1990.

Processing Information

Paul Beck, July 1991


Detailed Description of the Records

 

Records, 1966-1969, 1981-1986 (bulk 1981-1985),
8 cubic ft.

Agent Orange Advisory Committee
box
1991/35-1 Committee Meeting Tapes and Cassettes, 1984-1985
Appointments Information, 1984-1985
General Correspondence, 1984-1985
Enabling Legislation, 1983
Committee on Subject Selection - Agent Orange
box
1991/35-1 Minutes, 1981-1985
Correspondence, 1982-1985
Reviews of Cases, 1982-1985
Correspondence
box
1991/35-2 September 1, 1981 - August 31, 1982
September 1, 1982 - August 31, 1983
September 1, 1983 - August 31, 1984
September 1, 1984 - August 31, 1985
Reading File, September 1, 1984 - August 31, 1985
Correspondence on Case Files, September 1, 1985 - February 1986
VA [Veterans Administration] Advisory Committee on Health-Related Effects of Herbicides, 1983-1985
Administrative Files
box
1991/35-3 Annual Report:
FY 1984
[Correspondence], FY 1983
FY 1982
Status Report, Agent Orange Program, 1985
Class Action Law Suits:
Against Chemical Companies, New York State, 1984
Against Veterans Administration, 1982
Confidentiality of Patient Programs, 1984
Dow Chemical Company, 1983-1984
Forms - Agent Orange Program, 1981-1983
General Information, 1981-1983
General Planning - Staffing, 1981-1985
box
1991/35-4 Legal Opinions, 1981-1985
Mailing Lists, [ca. 1981-ca. 1985]
Photographs Taken in Vietnam, 1966-1969
Publication - Air Force Health Study, 1984
Publications - General, 1981-1984
Rules - Agent Orange, 1981-1982
Veterans Administration, 1981-1984
Agent Orange Studies and Tests
box
1991/35-5 A.O. [Agent Orange] Study Information, 1983-1985
Exposure Indices, 1983-1984
Epidemiological Study, 1982-1985
Selection Methodology, 1983-1984
Genetic Services in Texas/Counseling, 1982-1984
Controls - Agent Orange Studies, 1983-1985
Protocols for University of Texas Pilot Study Proposals, 1981-1985
Bleomycin Test, 1984
Cytogenetic Testing, 1982-1985
Effects on Sperm, 1982-1985
Enzyme Study, 1984-1985
Evaluation of Birth Defects in Offspring, 1982-1984
Fat Tissue Analysis, 1982-1984
Immune Evaluation of Veterans, 1981-1985
Mortality Study, 1981-1985
Porphyrin Study, 1985
Psychological Testing for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, 1984
Agent Orange Research Files
box
1991/35-6 Australia, 1983-1985
Birth Defects, 1984
Cancer, 1982-1985
Chemical Warfare, 1982
Cytogenetics/Chromosomes, 1983
Dioxin, 1981-1984
Fat Tissue Analysis, 1983
Genetic Screening, 1983-1984
Immune System, 1983-1984
Melioidosis, 1982
Mission to Vietnam Report, 1984
Porphyria Cutanea Tarda, 1984
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, 1983-1984
Psychiatric Disorders, 1983-1984
Ranch Hand Study - Air Force, 1983-1985
Army Agent Orange Task Force, 1982-1983
Agent Orange Research, 1981-1984
Soft Tissue Sarcomas, 1983-1984
Veterans Administration Epidemiologic Study, 1984-1985
Veterans Administration Twins Study, 1982-1983
Agent Orange Commissions/Programs in Other States
box
1991/35-7 Correspondence, 1982-1985
General Information, 1982-1985
Listings of Other States' Programs, 1982-1984
Meetings, 1982-1983
California, 1982-1985
Connecticut, 1983-1985
Florida, 1983
Georgia, 1982-1985
Hawaii, 1982-1985
Illinois, 1982-1986
Indiana, 1983-1985
Iowa, 1983-1985
Kansas, 1982-1985
Louisiana, 1984-1985
Maine, 1982-1985
Maryland, 1982-1984
Massachusetts, 1983-1985
Michigan, 1982-1986
Minnesota, 1982-1985
Nevada, 1984
New Jersey, 1982-1985
New Mexico, 1983
New York, 1982-1985
box
1991/35-8 North Carolina, 1983-1984
Ohio, 1982-1985
Oklahoma, 1981-1986
Oregon, 1983-1985
Pennsylvania, 1982-1985
Rhode Island, 1982-1985
South Carolina, 1984
Tennessee, 1981
Virginia, 1983
Washington, 1983
West Virginia, 1982-1985
Wisconsin, 1981-1985
Program Logs
box
1991/35-8 Log for Veterans/Controls Selected for Studies, S-1 to S-202, 1984-1985
Log for Requests for Consultations, FY 1984-FY 1985