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Effects of Agent Orange

Effects of Agent Orange

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Published by deveousdevil
Agent Orange used in Vietnam.
Agent Orange used in Vietnam.

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Published by: deveousdevil on Oct 22, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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the effects of Agent Orange
 When? How? Who?
During the second Indochina War, between 1961 and 1971,millions of litres of toxic chemicals, including aherbicide called Agent Orange - which contained dioxin -were sprayed over large parts of Vietnam. According to U.S.defense records, the U.S. Air Force sprayed 72 millionlitres of toxic chemicals, of which 44 million were AgentOrange - the most toxic chemical discovered so far.
Health effects
Agent Orange and dioxin are especially harmful to humanhealth. Recent laboratory tests of human tissue samples(blood, fat tissue, and breast milk) taken from exposedveterans and people living in sprayed areas revealed levelsof dioxin higher tham levels found in people living in non-sprayed areas of Vietnam as well as people living inindustrialised countries.Since 1990, the
 Agent Orange Victims Fund 
has been testingdioxin in pooled blood samples from different areas inorder to map out the average dioxin levels throughout thecountry. Blood samples collected from those in northernVietnam have the lowest dioxin levels (2-3 ppt) and almostall the samples collected from people in southern Vietnam,where the chemicals were sprayed showed a much higherdioxin level.Most noteworthy are the levels of dioxin in breast milk.The high level of dioxin in nursing mothers shows howcontamination spreads and bio-acumulates from mothers totheir children.Epidemiological studies have shown an elevated rate ofdiseases and disorders in people exposed to dioxin. Theseinclude high rates of cancers, abnormalities duringpregnancies, neurological and metabolic disorders, andespecially birth defects.
How many people?
 Millions of Vietnamese people were exposed to Agent Orangeduring the war. It is estimated that today approximately amillion people have disabilities or other health problemsassociated with Agent Orange, according to a number of
pilot studies made in Vietnam. These studies estimate thatapproximately 100,000 of these adversely affected peopleare disabled children.Based on the high number of people in need of assistanceand the extremely difficult situation many of them have toface, the Vietnam Red Cross (VNRC) has set up a specialfund and taken the lead to mobilise support in order toprovide humanitarian assistance.The people affected by Agent Orange are not only sufferingfrom severe disabilities and a multitude of other healthproblems, but also from the associated effects of not beingable to integrate into normal life. Many children cannot goto school and their parents are often unable to work.
 And the environment?
The consequences of spraying these toxic chemicals continueto have devastating effects on the environment. Millions oflitres of Agent Orange caused a great ecological imbalance,destroying timber, wild animals and forest products.Without forest cover to retain water, flooding in the rainyseason and drought in the dry season has adversely affectedagricultural production. Topsoil is easily washed away,further hindering forest recovery. While the uplands havebeen and continue to be eroded, the lowlands have becomechoked with sediment, further increasing the threat offlooding.
The Agent Orange Victims Fund (AGORAVIF) works to supportfamilies and children affected by Dow's chemicals. You canfind out more and donate to their fund by visiting www.vnrc.org.vn. This information was adapted from Mac ThiHoa's original - she works with the victims at one of theclinics set up by AGORAVIF in southern Vietnam.
 Diseases and conditions linked to Agent Orange
soft tissue sarcomaNon-Hodgkin’s lymphomaHodgkin’s diseasechloracne
respiratory cancers (including cancers of the lung,larynx, trachea & bronchus)prostate cancermultiple myelomaperipheral neuropathy(acute or subacute)spina bifidaporphyria cutanea tardaincreased rate of primary liver cancer & oropharynxcancermiscarriagestill birthpremature birthhyditiform mole & choriocarcinomaanencephaliamicrocephaliahydrocephaliacerebral palsyhigher rates of infant mortalitycontaminated breast milk loss of appetiteinsomniaweight loss

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