Reproductive & Generational Effects

Toxic exposures may cause or be associated with reproductive or generational health effects.


VA recognizes and offers support for the children of qualifying veterans affected by Agent Orange who have certain birth defects.

The National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has opined that, “there is inadequate or insufficient evidence to determine whether there is an association between parental exposure to the [chemicals of interest such as Agent Orange and other herbicides] and birth defects, childhood cancers, or disease in their children as they mature or in later generations.” [Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2014]

Nevertheless, VA has recognized that certain birth defects among veterans’ children are associated with veterans’ qualifying service that presumes exposures to Agent Orange or other herbicides.

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VA does not currently recognize or offers support for the children of veterans affected by Gulf War exposures who have birth defects.

A 2018 report of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) evaluated “the scientific and medical literature on reproductive and developmental effects and health outcomes associated with Gulf War and Post-9/11 exposures, and designates research areas requiring further scientific study on potential health effects in the descendants of veterans of any era.”

The NASEM report, entitled “Gulf War and Health: Volume 11: Generational Health Effects of Serving in the Gulf War,” had numerous findings regarding adverse reproductive and generational health outcomes.

Those conclusions are summarized in the concise chart below, produced by Veterans for Common Sense from the NASEM report’s findings.  You may also download the chart in PDF format.

VA has not yet recognized any birth defects among Gulf War veterans’ children as associated with veterans’ qualifying Gulf War service.


VA does not currently recognize or offers support for the children of veterans affected by Camp Lejeune exposures who have birth defects.

Successive reports of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) evaluated the scientific and medical literature on health effects related to exposure to contaminants (solvents) in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune

The NASEM reports had numerous findings regarding adverse reproductive health outcomes and the potential for adverse health outcomes in infants and children exposed to the contaminated drinking water.  The reports are as follows:

VA has not yet recognized any birth defects among veterans’ children associated with veterans’ qualifying Camp Lejeune service.

VA does provide medical care to qualifying Camp Lejeune-exposed veterans, spouses, and children for 15 conditions:

Additionally, VA also has determined  that 8 separate conditions are presumptive for VA service-connected disability claims for veterans.

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