The use of the defoliant Agent Orange during the Vietnam War continues to cast a dark shadow over both American veterans and Vietnamese citizens.

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Agent Orange: Last Chapter of the Vietnam War

Producer: Sandy Northrop
Sr. Producer: Kit R. Roane
Associate Producer: Olivia Katrandjian

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?

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Related:
Agent Orange’s Long Legacy, for Vietnam and Veterans by Clyde Haberman

TranscriptLesson PlanCollection: Global Cold War

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Agent Orange’s Long Legacy, for Vietnam and VeteransThe New York Times
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