Decades On, Agent Orange Still Stalks Vietnam
Decades after the end of the Vietnam War, the country remains blighted by Agent Orange, a toxic herbicide used by US forces during the conflict. Families with disabled children are demanding more help from the US government.
Between 1962 and 1971, the United States sprayed approximately 20 million gallons of dioxin-contaminated herbicides over some 6 million acres of Vietnamese terrain. Among these was a compound known as Agent Orange, named for the orange stripe on its label (other varieties were marked with different colors but were less widely used). These chemicals wiped out forests and crops that were used by opposition forces for cover and food. In the course of this, hundreds of thousands of U.S. service personnel and millions of Vietnamese were exposed to the chemicals in the air, water, and soil and through food raised on contaminated farms. U.S. Vietnam Veterans and Agent Orange: Understanding the Impact 40 Years Later
There are of course, many Vietnam Vets who have agent orange (AO) related disabilities. I worked with homeless vets (veteran homelessness a whole other issue) with AO problems. One of the men was the father of a disabled son directly related to AO. Another had foot rot, still festering decades later.
Since Desert Storm there is a new chemical weapon that is much more damaging – depleted uranium (DU). AO is thought to last for 100 years; DU is said to last for 4.5 million. The birth defects in some DU areas are very high with unfathomable deformities.
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