Effects of Agent Orange During the Vietnam War

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On April 12, 1961, the first application of the chemical nicknamed Agent Orange was sprayed on Vietnamese foliage in an attempt to stop guerilla warfare, launching a herbicidal disaster ("Herbicidal Warfare"). The consequences of agent orange, unbeknownst to the former government officials, led to a series of catastrophic effects including, but not limited to neurobehavioral and physical anomalies of the human body. As a result of the lacking knowledge of Agent Orange, the United States and Vietnam are still cleaning up the herbicidal mess that could have been avoided (Magnuson). Decades later, scientific evidence proved that the use of the dioxin herbicide Agent Orange was linked to many physical and neurobehavior disorders (Poremba).

Agent orange became popularized during the Vietnam war when president John F. Kennedy sought radical solutions dealing with Guerilla Warfare (Poremba). He launched a mission called Operation Ranch Hand that lasted 9 years, ceasing in 1971 ("Agent Orange Cancer"). It was said that over 2.6 million soldiers were serving in Vietnam at the time of the mission. The shipments of the chemical arrived in Vietnam inside barrels

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wrapped in an orange identifying strip, coining the nick name 'Agent Orange' ("Agent

Orange and Cancer"). The chemical was sprayed from airplanes on trees, base perimeters, roadways, and communication lines. It was also sprayed by riverboats and trucks (committee, 74). Agent Orange is a dioxin herbicide containing Dichlorophenoxyacetic and Trichlorophenoxyacetic acids. "Dioxin is the most toxic and most durable chemical mankind has developed so far" ("Vietnamese"). Both acids are highly toxic and considered mutagens ("Toxipedia"). Trichlorophenoxyacetic is considerabl...

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