Effects of Agent Orange


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I'm sure all of you have learned about the use of agent orange in the Vietnam War. To remind you, agent orange was an herbicide used by the U.S. military from 1962-1975 in an attempt to destroy the forests in Vietnam and Cambodia, which were used as cover for the Viet Cong, as well as the crops grown for the peasants in these countries. This forced the peasants to flee to cities that were being controlled by the U.S. military and as a result, the Viet Cong had a significantly decreased amount of food supply.

My father was drafted to serve in the U.S. Army in Vietnam between 1967-1969, which means he had high exposure to agent orange. I have an older sister who was born with Spina Bifida, which is a birth defect known to be caused by dioxin/agent orange. Veterans who were exposed to this herbicide have an increased chance of getting these diseases: Al Amyloidosis, chronic B-cell Leukemia, Chloracne, Diabetes Type II, Hodgkin's Disease, Ischemic Heart Disease, Multiple Myeloma, Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Parkinson's Disease, Peripheral Neuropathy (early onset), Porphyria Cutanea Tarda, prostate cancer, respiratory cancers, and soft tissue sarcomas, and many more. There is also a long list of birth defects associated with children and grandchildren of Vietnam Veterans. This list includes, but is not limited to Spina Bifida, Achondroplasia, cleft lip, cleft palate, congenital heart disease, congenital talipses equinovarus (clubfoot), esophageal and intestinal atresia, Hallerman-Streiff Syndrome, hip dysplasia, Hischprung's Disease, hydrocephalus due to aqueductal stenosis, hypospadias, imperforate anus, neural tube defects, Poland Syndrome (webbed fingers), Pyloric Stenosis, Syndactyly, Tracheosophageal Fistula, undescended testicles, and Williams Syndrome (thyroid defects).

So the question that remains is why did Agent Orange cause so many defects. Agent Orange is made from two herbicides: 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T, which was contagent orange.jpgaminated with a dioxin.

A dioxin is a highly toxic compound. This combination caused multiple gene mutations and chromosomal abberations (found in several experiments). Unfortunately, millions of people in both the United States of America and Vietnam are still dealing with the devastating effects of Agent Orange today. For more information, take a look at some of the links below.

Veteran's Diseases Associated with Agent Orange:

http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/diseases.asp

Information about Agent Orange:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agent_Orange#Use_in_the_Vietnam_War

Children of Vietnam Vet's Exposed to Agent Orange:

http://covvha.net/

http://www.vva.org/Guides/AgentOrangeGuide.pdf

 


1 Comment

Pretty cool blog! I haven't heard of any talk about Agent Orange in forever. Also you mentioned a lot of diseases and disorders Agent Orange can cause but you did not mention schizophrenia, is that not one of the affects? To my knowledge it was one of the affects. Here's a link referring to how Agent Orange affects children http://www.examiner.com/article/the-children-of-veterans-are-the-innocent-victims-of-agent-orange

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