Effects of Agent Orange
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Used extensively during the Vietnam War, Agent Orange was a deforestation element that was designed to remove the extensive jungle cover that the enemy used to hide their operations. From 1961 to 1971, Agent Orange was used as part of Operation Ranch Hand, a military endeavor that used a host of newly-developed chemicals to expose the enemy in this difficult conflict. However, the long-term environmental and health impacts of Agent Orange were not fully understood, and it is only now, many years after the end of the conflict, that the far-reaching effects are being seen.
Facts About Agent Orange
- The Vietnamese Red Cross has reported that as many as 3 million people were impacted by the chemical within the country.
- This includes approximately 150,000 children that were born with birth defects.
- Agent Orange caused countless females, both human and livestock alike, to have miscarriages and stillbirths
- The presence of dioxin, one of the leading chemicals in Agent Orange, in the soil of Vietnam has caused continued problems, including an impact on the food chain and an increased presence of various types of cancers.
Similar side effects have been seen in American veterans that were exposed to the chemical during the conflict. Veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange have been found to have higher rates of numerous disorders, including various types of cancer, respiratory problems, and digestive disorders. Those veterans who loaded the airplanes and helicopters delivering Agent Orange were the most heavily exposed, and as a result are showing the most substantial problems. The presence of the chemical in soldiers' blood is also believed to have contributed to higher rates of miscarriage upon their return home.