Agent Orange Essay

Length: 422 words

Throughout wars, armies are constantly introducing new technologies to stay ahead of their enemies. In the Vietnam War, the Americans used Agent Orange, so their enemies would be more visible.

Agent Orange was a herbicide for warm, tropical climates and the American’s and Canadian’s started testing this chemical in the 1940’s, however, it was never tested on humans until nearly the end of the Vietnam War when it was finally discontinued in 1971. Agent Orange was a 50-50 mix of two chemicals know as 2,4,D and 2,4,5,T. Then the final result was combined with kerosene and diesel fuel, creating TCDD or dioxins, which contained powerful carcinogenic chemicals. It was sprayed with helicopters, airplanes, vehicles and by hand on the Vietnam landscape.

After the America troops started developing disease like syndromes, some faster then others, people began to question the impact of Agent Orange on the human population. Laboratories started to test Agent Orange on animals. This led to finding that the animals had contracted a wide variety of diseases, and many of them were life threatening. “A researcher with the New Jersey Agent Orange Commission in Trenton reported finding an average 10-fold excess of TCDDroughly 45 ppt in fat -among 9-10

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veterans who had been Agent Orange sprayers in Vietnam roughly 20 years ago.”[1]

Some of these diseases included as Diabetes Mellitus (Type II), birth defects, Chloracne, Hodgkin’s disease, Multiple Myeloma, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Acute and Sub-acute Peripheral Neuropathy, Porphyria Cutanea Tarda, Prostate Cancer, Respiratory Cancers and Soft-Tissue Sarcoma and with possibly several other serious diseases. The near end of the war, they finally realized that Agent Orange was highly contaminated with amounts of TCDD. ” The Stellman data show that veterans exposed to herbicides faced an increased risk of elevated blood pressure, benign fatty tumors, a wife’s miscarriage, visual and skin sensitivity to light and symptoms of depression, as compared, with veterans who were not exposed.”[2]

Agent Orange was predominately used in Saigon, Bien Hoa and Cu Chi, these cities and towns received an estimated 19 million gallons. ” The Environmental Protection Agency has called it one of the most perplexing and potentially dangerous chemicals ever to pollute the environment.'”[3] These places were heavily sprayed because the U.S. forces wanted the land bare of any camouflage, so the enemies would have no chance to hide, or ambush them.

Even though Canadian Troops opted to omit themselves in battle of Vietnam, as it was not their war. They provided TB clinics, doctors and nurses, which were very helpful to the American’s for the aid of the wounded.

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