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Missouri Senator plans to introduce new Bill in support of World War II Veterans

Around 60,000 Army and Navy troops were part of Mustard Gas experiment . This experiment sought to prepare US Military to face the mustard gas in the battlefield

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Senator Claire McCaskill speaking at the conference. Image source: Wikimedia commons
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  • To help veterans who participated in mustard gas experiments, Senate of missouri plans to introduce new bill 
  • An investigation revealed only 40 living veterans are currently getting benefits
  • According to McCaskill’s investigation, 90% of applicants claims have been denied by the US Department of Veteran Affairs

Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri is pushing to introduce a new bill which aims help World War II veterans exposed lethal mustard gas.

The US military conducted a classified experiment in which veterans were used and sworn to secrecy about their participation in the experiment.

It is said that around 60,000 Army and Navy troops were part of this experiment. The Mustard Gas experiment sought to prepare US Military to face the gas in the battlefield. Those veterans were sworn to secrecy until 1991.

Many Serious Illnesses like leukemia, skin cancer and chronic breathing problems can be caused by the exposure of mustard gas.

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A person exposed to Mustard gas. Image Source: Wikipedia

This bill will be named after Arla Harrel, a man who is said to be the last surviving Missourian participated in the mustard gas experiment. At the age 89 Harrell lives in a nursing home and his claims for compensation have been repeatedly denied by The U.S department of Veteran Affairs (VA).

McCaskill’s office launched its own investigation and  has found out that only 40 living veterans are currently getting benefits and the rest still have not received any compensation. According to the investigation a couple hundred veterans who took part in the experiment are still alive.

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Arla Harrel Act calls for establishment of a new policy for processing claims of the test subjects of this experiment and to reconsider all previously denied claims.

VA officials told NPR that McCaskill’s report is being reviewed by the agency and that it “greatly appreciates the service and sacrifices of every World War II Veteran, and any veteran who may have been injured in mustard gas testing.”

On Tuesday, McCaskill said that 90 percent of the claims by applicants have been denied by Veteran Affairs. Some even have struggled to get compensation for health issued caused due to the exposure. She said her bill will help the veterans but it is unclear that how many will get benefitted.

-by Bhaskar Raghavendran

Bhaskar is a graduate in Journalism and mass communication and a reporter at NewsGram. Twitter handle: bhaskar_ragha

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Middle age chronic inflammation can increase frailty later

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middle age inflammation can lead to old age weakness
Johns Hopkins University, Pixabay

Chronic inflammation in middle age may be linked to an increased risk of frailty and overall poorer health decades later, a new study suggests.

Overall for the study sample, each standard deviation of higher inflammation recorded in mid-life yielded a 39 per cent higher odds of frailty approximately 24 years later, the researchers said.

The prevalence of frailty in later life among people who had low levels of inflammation throughout mid-life was four to five per cent.

Chronic inflammation in mid-life
Representational Image- Old age pain, wikimedia commons

However, the prevalence of later life frailty among adults with high levels of inflammation during mid-life was nine per cent — approximately double.

“Middle adulthood may be an especially important period for poor health in older adults for multiple reasons. First, it is in middle age when the incidence of common chronic diseases, such as diabetes, begins to accelerate,” said lead author Keenan Walker, from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

“Second, compared to individuals who develop systemic disease and inflammation in later life, individuals who develop these conditions in mid-life may have a longer exposure and therefore are more susceptible to deleterious physiological effects,” Walker added.

For the study, published in The Journal of Gerontology, the research team analysed data from 5,760 adults in their 70s.

The participant’s health has been followed over the course of five medical examinations, starting in 1987-1989, when they were in their 40s and 50s.

The fifth and most recent medical visit and evaluation occurred in 2011-2013.

The investigators specifically examined measures of five markers of inflammation in the bloodstream collected during participant’s initial study visits.

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Inflammatory biomarker levels were combined to create an inflammation composite score, which was used as a marker of each participant’s overall level of inflammation.

Next, all participants who completed the fifth visit were categorised as frail, pre-frail or robust depending upon how many of the following attributes they had at the time — exhaustion, slowness, low physical activity, weakness and weight loss.

Those deemed frail met three or more of these criteria, while those categorised as pre-frail met one or two of the criteria, and those categorised as robust met none of the criteria. (IANS)