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Paraquat/Roundup Exposure


Paraquat/Roundup Exposure refers to the potential health risks faced by veterans who were exposed to herbicides like Paraquat and Roundup during their military service. These herbicides were extensively used for weed control and defoliation purposes, particularly during the Vietnam War. Exposure to these chemicals may lead to an increased risk of developing various health issues, including Parkinson’s disease and certain types of cancers, which may qualify veterans for VA benefits and compensation.

Key Takeaways

  1. Paraquat and Roundup are both herbicides that have been linked to potential health risks, including Parkinson’s disease, for those exposed to them, particularly in military or occupational contexts.
  2. U.S. veterans and their survivors may be eligible for VA benefits if they can prove significant exposure to these chemicals during their military service and that it directly led to a disabling condition.
  3. Since the connection between Paraquat/Roundup exposure and diseases is still debated, obtaining benefits may require substantial documentation, such as service records, medical reports, and expert opinions that establish the link between exposure and the acquired condition.


The VA benefits term “Paraquat/Roundup Exposure” is important because it refers to the potential health consequences faced by military veterans who were exposed to these hazardous herbicides during their service.

Paraquat and Roundup (containing glyphosate) are potent weed killers widely used by the military for defoliation and vegetation control.

Veterans who have been exposed to these chemicals may be at risk for serious illnesses, such as cancers, Parkinson’s disease, and respiratory issues.

Understanding and acknowledging this exposure is crucial for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide proper support, medical care, and compensation for affected veterans who struggle with health problems related to their service.


Paraquat, more commonly referred to as Agent Orange, and Roundup, are herbicides that have been used extensively for military and agricultural purposes. They gained significant notoriety during the Vietnam War, where the U.S. military utilized these chemicals as defoliants, primarily to eliminate dense vegetation and crops that could potentially provide cover or sustenance to opposing forces.

Over time, it became apparent that exposure to these powerful herbicides could lead to a range of long-term health issues, including respiratory problems, neurological disorders, and certain cancers. Consequently, the VA benefits term “Paraquat/Roundup Exposure” addresses the necessity to provide support and assistance to military veterans who have suffered any adverse health effects due to their exposure to these toxic chemicals while on active duty. The primary purpose of categorizing Paraquat and Roundup exposure under VA benefits is to ensure that affected veterans have access to the appropriate resources, medical care, and financial compensation in recognition of the sacrifices they made in the line of duty.

This classification enables veterans to seek disability compensation for any illness or condition directly linked to their exposure to these herbicides during their military service. Moreover, the VA constantly reviews scientific studies and updates its policies, in order to expand the list of conditions recognized as being connected to Paraquat and Roundup exposure. Thus, the ongoing VA support directly contributes to the well-being of exposed veterans and helps mitigate the consequences of their service-related chemical exposures.

Examples of Paraquat/Roundup Exposure

VA Benefits term “Paraquat/Roundup Exposure” refers to the potential health risks faced by military personnel who were exposed to the toxic herbicides, Paraquat and Roundup, during their service. These herbicides were heavily used by the U.S. military during the Vietnam War and on military bases around the world.Three real-world examples of Paraquat/Roundup Exposure include:

Agent Orange and the Vietnam War: The U.S. military heavily used herbicides, including Agent Orange and Roundup, to defoliate the dense jungles in Vietnam during the war (1962-1971). As a result, thousands of veterans were exposed to these harmful chemicals, which have been linked to various chronic health issues such as cancers, birth defects, and neurological diseases. The VA recognizes these as service-connected conditions, and affected veterans are eligible for VA benefits, including disability compensation and healthcare services.

Military Base Activities: Paraquat and Roundup have been used at military bases globally, including U.S. installations, to maintain the grounds by killing weeds and other unwanted vegetation. Those who were present at bases where the chemicals were used, including both military personnel and civilian contractors, may have been exposed to the risks associated with these toxic herbicides.

Agricultural Work and Paraquat Exposure: After leaving military service, some veterans pursued careers in agriculture, where they were likely exposed to Paraquat, contributing to their overall exposure levels. VA benefits might be available to these veterans if they can demonstrate that their decades-long exposure to the toxic herbicide is directly linked to their post-service health conditions.It is essential to gather medical documentation and personal accounts as evidence that these exposures have led to a specific health condition or disability for a veteran to qualify for VA benefits.

FAQ: VA Benefits for Paraquat/Roundup Exposure

What is Paraquat/Roundup exposure?

Paraquat and Roundup are commercial herbicides commonly used in agriculture and landscaping. Exposure to these chemicals has been linked to various health issues, including Parkinson’s disease and certain types of cancer. Veterans who were exposed to these chemicals during their military service may be eligible for VA benefits.

How are veterans exposed to Paraquat/Roundup?

Veterans may have been exposed to Paraquat/Roundup if they were involved in agricultural, landscaping, or maintenance work during their military service. This includes tasks such as spraying or handling these chemicals or working in areas where they were used.

What health problems are associated with Paraquat/Roundup exposure?

Long-term exposure to Paraquat and Roundup can lead to several health issues, including Parkinson’s disease, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and other types of cancer. The severity of these conditions may vary based on the level and duration of exposure.

What VA benefits are available for veterans suffering from Paraquat/Roundup exposure?

Veterans who suffer from health issues related to Paraquat/Roundup exposure may be eligible for VA benefits such as disability compensation, healthcare services, and vocational rehabilitation. The VA evaluates each case individually, considering factors such as the veteran’s service records and medical evidence, to determine eligibility for benefits.

How can veterans file a claim for VA benefits related to Paraquat/Roundup exposure?

To file a claim for VA benefits due to Paraquat/Roundup exposure, veterans need to submit a completed VA Form 21-526EZ, along with supporting documentation such as medical records, service records, and any relevant statements. It is crucial to provide evidence linking the exposure to their military service and the resultant health issues.

How long does it take to process a claim related to Paraquat/Roundup exposure?

The processing time for claims related to Paraquat/Roundup exposure can vary depending on the complexity of the case and the availability of supporting evidence. Veterans are encouraged to provide as much information as possible when submitting their claim. The VA will review and process the claim, which can take several months or longer.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Herbicide-Contaminated Military Bases
  • Agent Orange Exposure
  • Post-Vietnam War Health Issues
  • Chemical Residue Compensation
  • Veterans Environmental Exposure Claims

Sources for More Information