Essay on Agent Orange And The Vietnam War

1235 Words Dec 18th, 2015 5 Pages
Agent Orange
Having spent 10 weeks in Vietnam, I felt a personal connection to Agent Orange as well as the effects it had on the country. This connection is what motivated my research and my desire to bring attention to the subject. Agent Orange was an herbicide used during the Vietnam War in the 1960s. It was used by the United States military who intended to gain an advantage in the war by spraying the chemical over the dense jungles of Vietnam. The military hoped that this would deprive the Viet Cong of hiding places, reducing their chances of winning the war. The original purpose of Agent Orange was solely to defoliate the jungles of Vietnam, however, there were many unintended harsh side effects of the chemical. This was a global problem because many countries were involved in the Vietnam War as well as the fact that although Agent Orange itself was manufactured in the United States, it was distributed in Vietnam. Agent Orange contained two different herbicides 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T (Blackwell and Manar, 2015).
When these two herbicides are mixed, the chemical would have normally degraded on its own after a few days. However, Agent Orange contained dioxin, a dangerous chemical contaminant (Hoyle, 2014). Large concentrations of the dioxin contaminated chemical were distributed throughout southern Vietnam and caused many health problems among local Vietnamese people and soldiers. Agent Orange is also a teratogen, and was known to cause birth defects in Vietnamese children.…

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