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Agent Orange Essay

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We must do everything in our power to make the world recognize that our veterans are still paying a high price for fighting the war in Vietnam. Agent Orange is slowly taking the lives of these brave veterans. The government has recognized some diseases but the rules to compensation can be complex. It was in the 1960's that we were in the process of trying to destroy vegetation and brush in Vietnam, in doing so we proceeded to contaminate one of the largest parts of the environment, Humankind. War Veterans were exposed to Agent Orange and now live their lives with a disease not necessarily curable. The question remains did these Veterans know about the hazardous effects, and how are they being compensated now? Agent Orange was the code name for a herbicide developed for the military, primarily for use in tropical climates. It destroyed covering vegetation to protect the American and allied troops from ambush. The product "Agent Orange" was named so for the orange band that was used to mark the drums it was stored in. Agent Orange "was a reddish-brown liquid containing two herbicides: 2,4,5-T was contaminated in the manufacturing process with a type of dioxin - 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, also known as TCDD."(VA Fact Sheet) The combined product was mixed with kerosene or diesel fuel and dispersed by vehicle, hand spraying, and aircraft. The term Operation Ranch Hand was the military code name for the spraying of herbicides from United States aircraft in Southeast Asia. "Between 1962 and 1971, Ranch Hand sprayed about 19 million gallons of herbicide, 11 million of which was Agent Orange."(Buckingham 2) Ranch Hand made attacks more difficult by clearing several hundred yards of vegetation in order to make ambushes more difficult and air attacks easier. There was, "more than 10% of the land area of South Vietnam was sprayed at least once, and some were sprayed repeatedly."(Boffey, 1) After several weeks the herbicides would dissolve into the soil which would contaminate the water and the vegetation. "Orange contained relatively high levels of an exceedingly poisonous contaminant known as Dioxin."(Arison, 1) Dioxin is what remained after the herbicides would dissolve; this is not a harmful substance found in nature, but rather a man made poison. The introduction to using resources: Choices and Trade-off s...


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Works Cited
"Agent Orange and Related Issues." VA Fact Sheet 1 (October 1997). 3 Mar.1999 <http://va.gov/pressrel/ao1297.htm>
"Agent Orange Update Supports Association Between Herbicides and Veterans' Diseases." Institute of Medicine News [Washington] 14 March 1996
Arison, Lindsey. "The Herbicidal Warfare Program in Vietnam." Executive Summary 1 (June 1997). 3 Mar. 1999 <http://www.gslink.com/arison/orange.html>.
Boffey, Philip. "Agent Orange in Vietnam 30 Years Later" New York Times 8 September 1998
Brooks. Clark. "Fatal flaws; How the military misled Vietnam Veterans and their families about the health risks of Agent Orange" San Diego Union-Tribune [Vietnam] 1 November 1998:
"Hodgkin's Disease." Encyclopedia Encarta. 1999 ed.
Lane, Earl. "Study Links Agent Orange to Birth Defects in Children of War Veterans" Newsday [Washington] 15 March 1996: P3.
"The October Almanac." The Atlantic Monthly October 1997: 20.
Walker, Melissa. "Introduction: Using Resources, Choices and Trade-offs." Reading the Enviornment. 1st Ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1994. 276-279.


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