Examining Possible Causes of Gulf War Illness: RAND Policy Investigations and Reviews of the Scientific Literature
Nov 25, 2005
Note: Many electronic documents posted prior to 2003 are available as chapter PDFs or HTML files linked from the Contents.
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This report summarizes the scientific literature on 12 of the 35 pesticides that are likely to have been used during the Persian Gulf War. Where possible, it focuses on known pesticide exposures or doses and related health outcomes that may be relevant to symptoms reported by some Gulf War veterans. Particular attention is paid to long-term, chronic effects of reported exposures to organophosphate and carbamate pesticides. Evidence from epidemiological studies, studies of genetic and biological differences between ill and healthy subjects, and studies of the physiological mechanisms of organophosphate and carbamate pesticides is suggestive, but not conclusive, that these pesticides could be among the potential contributing agents to some of the undiagnosed illnesses seen in Gulf War veterans. However, no prospective studies have been conducted that positively identify pesticides as causative agents. More research is needed to confirm or refute a causal link between pesticides and other agents and the symptoms associated with Gulf War illnesses.
Acronyms and Abbreviations PDF
Health Problems in PGWV PDF
Organophosphates and Carbamates PDF
Confounding Factors: Individual Differences and Interactions PDF
Concluding Remarks PDF
Comparison by Symptom Category of Subjects with AChE-Inhibitor Exposure (Organophosphate or Carbamate) and Ill PGWV PDF