The Devastation of Agent Orange Essay

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Abstract: This paper exposes the social injustices to Americans and to Vietnamese resulting from spraying of Agent Orange during the Vietnam Conflict. American Vietnam Veterans and many Vietnamese citizens have struggled with the United States Government for due reparations from the devastation of Agent Orange that has shattered their lives. Veterans have demanded compensation for this injustice through lawsuits and government allocations while the Vietnamese want the United States to clean up their dioxin-contaminated land and waterways. The United States has denied responsibility and the battle continues as veterans and the Vietnamese challenge the United States to accept its wrongdoing. This paper provides the evidence that the US …show more content…
On February 14, 1997, the World Health Organization reclassified dioxin as a Class 1 carcinogen, or a known human carcinogen (EJ Network website). Dioxin is linked to reproductive difficulties, developmental problems, immune system damage and interference with regulatory hormones (EJ Network website).

The Social Injustice to Americans
The Vietnam veterans and civilians endured health problems from their exposure to Agent Orange as well as psychological problems from their extended fight against the US government over responsibility for their Agent Orange -induced health problems. Veteran associations such as the Vietnam Veterans of America and congressional leaders have fought for more scientific testing to relate Agent Orange exposure to the long list of diseases that are apparent at a much higher rate in Vietnam Veterans. Under the Agent Orange Act of 1991, the National Academy of Science (NAS) Institute of Medicine is required to publish research every two years that corroborates all Agent Orange research worldwide (Institute of Medicine 1998). In its 1993 report, the NAS found a positive relationship between the herbicide exposure and soft tissue sarcoma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease, chloracne and porphyria cutanea tarda (Institute of Medicine 1998), only five of the hundreds of diseases suffered by veterans considered service-connected by the Department of Veterans

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