Agent Orange Vietnam War

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Agent Orange is a chemical herbicide used as a defoliant by the United Stated military forces during the Vietnam War to eliminate the forest. A defoliant is a chemical that removes the leaves from trees and plants. The Vietnamese soldiers were using the forest as cover to attack the enemies. The military also sprayed a chemical mixture on the crops that were used to feed the Vietnamese army and population. The original problem that the U.S. military was trying to solve with the “Rainbow Chemicals” was to eliminate the mangroves and to expose the Vietnamese soldiers. Agent Orange was the main chemical used to try and solve the military’s problem. Along with Agent Orange there was also Agent White, Purple, Pink, Green, and Blue. All of these …show more content…
Five years later seven large chemical companies that manufactured the herbicide agreed to pay $180 million in compensation to the veterans or their children. Lawsuits filed by some 300 veterans followed this agreement, before the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed it in 1988. But by 1988 the settlement had risen to near $240 million dollars including interest. For the time period this was a lot of money. But still not enough to help all of the soldiers that had been affected by the spraying of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. In 1991, George W. Bush, the current president, signed into law the Agent Orange Act. This act mandated that some diseases associated with Agent Orange and the other defoliants used, be treated for their symptoms. At the end of the war against Vietnam there were several thousand U.S. vets who were suffering because of Agent Orange. Vietnam reported that about 400,000 people were killed or injured as a result of exposure to Agent …show more content…
About 12 million gallons of the supercharged weed killer, which was enough to cover 18,000 square miles, was sprayed over the 66,000 square miles of South Vietnam during the War. The chemicals in Agent Orange have been bio accumulating in the environment of Vietnam. Causing the effects of Agent Orange to still be reappearing in Vietnam. This has also lead to bio magnification. During the war the chemicals were already accumulating in the environment so when more were dumped on the forests then it magnified the amount in the eco system, causing the effects and damage of the chemicals to be bigger and more devastating. Even 40 years later, plant life in South Vietnam is still suffering because of Agent Orange. The most damage occurred in the mangrove forests. The spraying left barren, eroded coastlines. It is estimated that it will take around 100+ years for the mangrove forest to regrow to full recovery that they were before the war. Smaller shrubs are the main vegetation now found in the mangrove forests. Bamboo and Tussock grasses replace the woody plants that were destroyed by the spraying of Agent Orange. Agent Orange, sadly, did not just affect the plants in Vietnam. The contaminant TCDD has become very present in the soil of Vietnam. TCDD is not easily or quickly broken down while in the soil. There is concern that herbicide residues might inhibit the growth of crops and other

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