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Three U.S. senators want Oregon Army National Guard soldiers exposed to toxic chemicals in Iraq to be tracked and receive lifetime medical care for problems that result.
They introduced a bill Thursday to create a registry that would speed exams and treatment through the Department of Veterans Affairs. The legislation also authorizes a scientific review of evidence linking chemical exposure to health problems, much like the Agent Orange registry that was created for Vietnam veterans.
The proposal would affect at least 292 Oregon soldiers who served in Iraq in 2003, as well as hundreds from Indiana, South Carolina and West Virginia. The troops, including the first Oregonians into Iraq, may have been exposed to cancer-causing hexavalent chromium.