The Effects And Effects Of Agent Orange In Vietnam

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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
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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. The parent that was exposed to the chemical can pass the effects along to the fetus. Although Agent Orange was sprayed in the 1960s, many people today are still suffering from the effects due to extreme persistence. The half life of Agent Orange in the human body is about 11-15 years, in loose soil, the half life of the chemical is 1-3 years, and the half life can be up to 100 years if it is located deep underground or underwater (Blackwell, …show more content…
In reality however, there were very few positive effects of this Growth Regulator Herbicide. Agent Orange contained a chemical contaminant called dioxin that negatively affected the lives of many people by causing health defects. Agent Orange also destroyed the natural environment of Vietnam and will continue to affect the area for many more years. Overall, Agent Orange did a lot more damage that it did was intended to and an important lesson can be learned from this historical moment. All chemicals should be thoroughly tested for dangerous contaminants before being used, especially if they are widely distributed. One chemical contaminant did a lot more damage than it should have and in result, the history of Vietnam was changed

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