Agent Orange Facts

Agent Orange Facts
From 1961 until 1971, as the U.S.'s involvement in the Vietnam War progressed, different strategies and tactics were employed at different times. One strategy was to subject North Vietnam to heavy bombing raids, while another was the use of the defoliant Agent Orange. Agent Orange was so-called because it was part of the U.S. Army's program "Operation Ranch Hand," which used a variety of chemical herbicides named after colors. The object of using Agent Orange was primarily twofold: to deprive the Viet Cong (VC) of hiding spots and ambush locations in the dense jungles and to contaminate the VC's food supply. Although Agent Orange was fairly successful in its objectives, it has had devastating long-term effects on Vietnam's environment and was determined to be the primary factor in thousands of cancer cases, which led to many lawsuits.
Interesting Agent Orange Facts:
Agent Orange is a chemical compound that contains two phenoxy herbicides and 2,4,5 trichlorophenoxyacetic acid.
Agent Orange is fat soluble, which means that it enters plants, animals, and people through touch or ingestion. If not ingestion by a plant or animal, Agent Orange quickly dries and become inert.
The British first developed herbicides during and after World War II. They first used them in a combat context during the Malaysian Emergency of 1948-1960.
Although the Vietnam War is often associated with President Lyndon Johnson's presidency, Operation Ranch Hand began during President John Kennedy's presidency.
Because Agent Orange was classified as a herbicide, it was not banned under the Geneva Convention that banned chemical weapons such as Mustard Gas.
Millions of Vietnamese and thousands of Americans were exposed to Agent Orange.
The Vietnamese government claims that up to 400,000 of its people died from Agent Orange poisoning.
Cancer is among the most common negative side effects of Agent Orange reported by U.S. servicemen, but rare skin conditions, birth deformities, and blindness are among many ailments those affected have reported.
Despite calls for Agent Orange being banned, the United Nations didn't explicitly ban the compound when it passed a resolution to stop jungle modification.
Americans afflicted with Agent Orange poising have sued the U.S. government for damages along with the companies that made the compound: Dow Chemical, Diamond Shamrock, and Monsanto.
In 1991, the United States Congress passed and President George W. Bush signed the Agent Orange Act of 1991. The act gave funding to the National Academy of Sciences to study the effects of Agent Orange and make recommendations.
As the United States and Vietnam began working to normalize relations in the 2000s, part of the negotiations included the United States detoxifying its former military bases in Vietnam. The American bases in Vietnam still have high amounts of toxins in the soil.
The United States also used Agent Orange as a defoliant in Cambodia during the late 1960s and early 1970s, but its impact remains unknown due to the isolated nature of the Khemer Rogue dictatorship.
The Brazilian government used Agent Orange to clear away sections of the Amazon rainforest during the 1960s.

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