Agent Orange’s teratogenic effect
ENVIRONMENT, GLOBAL VILLAGE
A herbicide contaminated with 1-20 ppm of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin–TCDD, causing chloracne, cancer, altered enzyme levels and porphyrin metabolism, immune dysfunction and birth defects of biblical magnitude. Because TCDD stores in adipose tissue, its long-term effects are currently unknown*
Agent Orange is a 50:50 mixture of 2,4-D n-butyl ester or 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic and 2,4,5-T n-butyl ester or trichlorophenoxyacetic acids in a diesel oil vehicle; AO was used as a general defoliant for forest, brush, broad-leafed crops in Southeast Asia by the American forces as a tactic of warfare, to destroy the jungles that served Viet Cong guerillas during the Vietnam conflict as camouflage; experiments with defoliant chemicals as herbicides began during World War II and four agents of potential military use were weeded out of the 12,000 chemicals tested; the US defoliation effort in Vietnam began in late 1961 and by the time the aerial defoliation program–Operation Ranch Hand ended in 1968, 6603 square miles–17,300 km2 had been sprayed with defoliant, predominantly AO, mostly from fixed wing aircraft.
The lawsuit brought by the exposed Vietnam veterans resulted in a $180 million settlement. The Vietnamese, who suffered terrible birth defects, got jack…God bless America…