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This report documents the results of a telephone survey of 2,005 Gulf War veterans investigating the use of pesticides during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Respondents statistically represented the U.S. military population in the Kuwaiti Theater of Operations between August 1990 and July 1991. Survey results characterized pesticide use by U.S. service members, including personal and field use of pesticides, as well as observed pesticide use by others. Information was obtained for living, working, and eating areas for a randomly chosen month of deployment. Results show that the majority of personnel were exposed to some pesticides, and there were differences in use by service; small differences by season and by rank, and larger differences by living arrangements. Possible cases of misuse of some pesticides were identified. However, with the exception of the use of flea collars, these cases could also be attributed to incorrect pesticide identification. The authors found no evidence of widespread misuse of field pesticides.

Table of Contents

  • Preface

  • Figures

  • Tables

  • Summary

  • Acknowledgements


  • Acronyms

  • A Note on Trade Names

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    Survey and Sample Description

  • Chapter Three

    Survey Results

  • Chapter Four

    Living Conditions and Variations in Pesticide Use

  • Chapter Five

    Potential Misuse or Overuse of Pesticides

  • Appendix A

    Main Survey Instrument

  • Appendix B

    Definition of the Sampling Frame and Sample

  • Appendix C

    Analytic Methods

  • Appendix D

    Evaluating Recall Bias

  • References

This research was sponsored by the RAND National Security Research Division and RAND Health.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

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