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Tuesday, 19 August 1980
Page: 423

Dr Everingham asked the Minister for Veterans' Affairs, upon notice, on 17 April 1980:

(1)   Will the current investigation into contact with herbicides and related substances in Vietnam by Vietnam veterans include a survey of exposure to DDT and other pesticides.

(2)   Was DDT or an alternative pesticide used more extensively in Vietnam than in those theatres of the 1939-45 War involving Australians.

(3)   Will he consider a survey on the possible long-term effects of such exposure on 1939-45 War veterans based on published epidemiological information with or without an extension of the current investigation into effects on Vietnam veterans.

Mr Adermann -The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   The current investigation by the Commonwealth Institute of Health will consider all chemicals to which Australian servicemen may have been exposed in Vietnam.

(2)   My colleague the Minister for Defence has informed me that DDT was used in Vietnam. It is not possible to compare the extent of its use in Vietnam against its use in World War II theatres of war. Australians served in many theatres of war and DDT was used by many nations.

(3)   Exposure of 1939-45 War veterans to DDT and other pesticides has not been presented as a problem and a study of the kind suggested is not proposed.

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