Threat Level: Orange
Legacy of Agent Orange Continues to Haunt Vietnam
Decades after the U.S. military sprayed Vietnam with millions of gallons of Agent Orange, fish and livestock in some parts of the nation are still highly contaminated with dioxin and other toxic chemicals contained in the defoliant. Dioxin levels in some people’s bloodstreams are also high, according to a new study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Vietnamese officials estimate that more than 1 million of the nation’s citizens have been exposed to Agent Orange, which was used from 1962 to 1971 to strip trees of their leaves and thereby deny cover to communist fighters. The herbicide has been linked to cancer, diabetes, spina bifida, and other illnesses.