Agent Orange: Last Chapter of the Vietnam War
During the war, the U.S. military sprayed Agent Orange over millions of acres to defoliate jungles, deprive its enemy defensive cover, and save the lives of American soldiers.
But dioxin, a contaminant in Agent Orange, has since been blamed for creating a range of crippling health problems – from cancers to birth defects – among American vets and the Vietnamese.
Now, more than forty years after the end of the Vietnam War, Agent Orange is back in the headlines as the United States and Vietnam partner to clean up sites in Vietnam still contaminated with dioxin. At the Danang Airport, where Agent Orange was once stored, contractors have built a “concrete oven” the size of a football field. The dioxin-laced soil, which over the decades has seeped into the water, and continued to afflict the Vietnamese, will be “cooked” under immense heat for several months. Scientists say the process will finally render the dioxin harmless. The containment was switched on April 19, 2014.
The question is how well it will work?
Subscribe to our newsletter for our latest work and surprises from history.
Educators, click below for this video’s accompanying lesson plan and check out our Global Cold War Collection.
Agent Orange’s Long Legacy, for Vietnam and Veterans by Clyde Haberman
More Like This
African American women played a significant and sometimes overlooked role in the struggle to gain the vote.
In 1976, Ronald Reagan found owning the soul of a party isn’t the same as taking home its nomination.
How can a president continue to govern with an impeachment trial looming? President Clinton and President Trump adopted very different strategies.
High-stakes debates put candidates in the hot seat. But are they helpful to voters?