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Facts About...

Agent Orange

Effects of Agent Orange still seen in these once rain forests
Effects of Agent Orange still seen in these once rain forests

Agent Orange is a defoliant which was used fairly extensively by U.S. forces in Vietnam as a means to deny the enemy the concealment afforded by jungle canopy and thick vegetation. Agent Orange is a combination of several ingredients, one of which, dioxin—a by-product of its manufacture, is a poisonous to humans and animals as well as plants.

Facts:

  • Dioxin poisoning is hard to attribute to exposure to Agent Orange because trace amounts of dioxin can be found in the body fat of nearly everyone in the civilized world due to its presence in a variety of manufactured products. Additionally, humans seem to have varying levels of tolerance to the chemical.

  • However, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), with the assistance of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) , an agency of the National Academy of Sciences, has determined that sufficient scientific evidence exists to link a number of specific health problems, suffered by Vietnam veterans (and in some cases their offspring), to Agent Orange exposure. For a list of these maladies see: http://veterans.iom.edu/subpage.asp?id=6197

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