Agent Orange Vietnam Case Study

As part of the Vietnam war, the U.S. military sprayed 12.1 gallons of Agent Orange defoliant on trees and vegetation in Vietnam. This so-called toxic chemical is mixed with other varieties of herbicides used for removing trees and dense tropical foliage that provided cover the Vietnam troops. Much of agent orange contains dioxin, which is a highly dangerous and toxic chemical, known to cause “reproductive and developmental problems, disruption of the immune system, interference with hormones and cancer,” according to World Health Organization, a specialized agency of the United Nations that is concerned with international public health. The U.S. Department of Defense developed these tactical herbicides specifically to be used in “combat operations.” …show more content…
Tan Dong and Vo Thi Nham have two boys who have been born with birth defects associated with agent orange. The youngest son, Tan Hau, has a disability in which he is unable to walk on his own and has uncontrollable arm and leg movements. As for their oldest son, Tan Tri, he can’t walk, crawl, or turn over on his own. He struggles with kyphosis, an abnormally curved spine and convex-shaped ribs. Majority of the time, he has to be carried by his mother, Vo Thi Nham, to travel in the house from corner to corner. Due to their sons conditions, Tan Dong’s wife must stay home to care to them. She explains, “when I get up in the morning, I carry them out to the yard and help them with a little exercise, then carry them back in the house to eat.” With the toxic chemicals being everywhere in crops, water, forests, and land, millions of Vietnamese civilians including adults and children suffer from cancer, diabetes, birth defects, and other …show more content…
Children, for example, can’t attend school because of their severe disabilities. In fact, parents have to scrape for a living just for them to be able to have a sturdy home and provide food for the family. Many suffer harsh, cold winters and hot, dry summers in the province areas of Vietnam. The Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), an independent research and media organization located in Montreal, Canada, interviewed a brother of Thao, who has been waiting for funding for operations of his legs. Thao has never been to school because of his ability of unable to walk. Both Thao and his older brother Hieu’s grandfather has fought in the Vietnam war. Given that information, the dangerous chemical, dioxin, has traveled three generations down the line. Thankfully, Hieu, Thao’s older brother (age 15) was not born with any disabilities from agent orange. Coming from the questions that the members of the CRG had asked, Hieu replied, “When I see my brother like this, I feel sorry for him. I help him at home, sometimes I feed him and we play marbles together around the house.” As for Thao, he responded, “I just lay there. I don’t have anything to do. I don’t feel sad, I’m used to it. I just want to be able to walk.” Thao is among millions of people who continue to suffer the devastating

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