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Agent Orange

Throughout wars, armies are constantly introducing new technologies to stay ahead of their enemies. In the Vietnam War, the Americans used Agent Orange, so their enemies would be more visible. Agent Orange was a herbicide for warm, tropical climates and the Americans and Canadians started testing this chemical in the 1940s, however, it was never tested on humans until nearly the end of the Vietnam War when it was finally discontinued in 1971. Agent Orange was a 50-50 mix of two chemicals know as 2,4,D and 2,4,5,T.

Then the final result was combined with kerosene and diesel fuel, creating TCDD or dioxins, which contained powerful carcinogenic chemicals. It was sprayed with helicopters, airplanes, vehicles and by hand on the Vietnam landscape. After the America troops started developing disease like syndromes, some faster then others, people began to question the impact of Agent Orange on the human population. Laboratories started to test Agent Orange on animals. This led to finding that the animals had contracted a wide variety of diseases, and many of them were life threatening.

A researcher with the New Jersey Agent Orange Commission in Trenton reported finding an average 10-fold excess of TCDDroughly 45 ppt in fat among 9-10 veterans who had been Agent Orange sprayers in Vietnam roughly 20 years ago. [1] Some of these diseases included as Diabetes Mellitus (Type II), birth defects, Chloracne, Hodgkins disease, Multiple Myeloma, Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, Acute and Sub-acute Peripheral Neuropathy, Porphyria Cutanea Tarda, Prostate Cancer, Respiratory Cancers and Soft-Tissue Sarcoma and with possibly several other serious diseases.

The near end of the war, they finally realized that Agent Orange was highly contaminated with amounts of TCDD. The Stellman data show that veterans exposed to herbicides faced an increased risk of elevated blood pressure, benign fatty tumors, a wifes miscarriage, visual and skin sensitivity to light and symptoms of depression, as compared, with veterans who were not exposed. [2] Agent Orange was predominately used in Saigon, Bien Hoa and Cu Chi, these cities and towns received an estimated 19 million gallons.

The Environmental Protection Agency has called it one of the most perplexing and potentially dangerous chemicals ever to pollute the environment. [3] These places were heavily sprayed because the U. S. forces wanted the land bare of any camouflage, so the enemies would have no chance to hide, or ambush them. Even though Canadian Troops opted to omit themselves in battle of Vietnam, as it was not their war. They provided TB clinics, doctors and nurses, which were very helpful to the Americans for the aid of the wounded.

They were also providing things that were not as useful such as bomb bays, bulk explosives and helicopter parts; this did not do much help for the Americans at all. As the Canadians created a Defense Production with the Americans, this occurred through the 1960s. The economy was being fueled by the arms industry. The NDP Leader of the time, Tommy Douglas, called it blood money to the tune of more than $300-million a year. [4] This eventually led Canadas unemployment rate to below four percent.

Canada was also apart of the Agent Orange testing. They tested it in CFB Gagetown, but only on vegetation, not the living. At the time it was thought to be quite safe for people. Then the formula was altered to make it more effective-for wiping out whole forests in Vietnam. [5] Pierre Elliot Trudeau tried to end the funding of the arms and chemicals trade to the Americans, but his reign only occurred after it was already too late.

As he quotes, If it were a question of morality and if I felt that it were bad to sell arms to the United States in a moral sense then I would have to feel that its bad also to sell them nickel and asbestos and airplane components. [6] Dr. Le Cao Dai directs the Agent Orange Victims Fund of the Vietnam Red Cross. His occupation is to help the people that been contaminated with Agent Orange. Not only the war heros, but also the farmers and families that have been affected by this horrible contamination.

Dai also treated the North Vietnamese wounded soldiers, and remembers seeing the American planes flying overhead. But until no he realizes that they were spraying Agent Orange in the air. But at this time I did not know what kind of chemicals the Americans were using. Then I saw the problems our people were beginning to suffer. There were many cases of malaria and cancer. [7] As soon as the Americans found out this terrible defect in Agent Orange, and it was a mistake they decided to help the veterans of war.

They also provided some veterans with special compensation. One of the court cases drew $180 million dollars from the makers of Agent Orange. In Conclusion I believe from doing this research on Agent Orange came me to believe it was a great catastrophe. Its also hard to believe that Canada was as much responsible as the Americans, but everyone does stupid things when under pressure, as the Americans and Canadians did in the Vietnam War. For future wars test all the possibilities on the non-living and living before introducing a new chemical into the battlefield.

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