Agent Orange is the name to which all herbicides are referred (technically) in error during the Vietnam War. The name, Agent Orange, has become synonymous for, and collective of, all herbicides used during the Vietnam War. Agent Orange, is also the identification of the harmful effects from herbicides (again, in error). The reality is that people don't have Agent Orange disease, rather, a disease, or cancer caused directly or indirectly from exposure to a herbicide containing dioxin. The name, Agent Orange, was derived from the orange stripe on drums in which the herbicide was stored.
Agent Orange (Scientifically)
Agent Orange was one of several defoliants (herbicides) containing trace amounts of a toxic contaminant, TCDD (dioxin). Defoliants were used during the Vietnam War to kill vast areas of jungle growth. The real, Agent Orange, was a 1:1 mixture of the n-butyl esters of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T). A byproduct contaminant of the manufacturing process for 2,4,5-T (used in all the agents during the Vietnam War) is 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-para-dioxin (TCDD). TCDD is commonly referred to as dioxin.
This chart contains a list of the herbicides (agents) used during the Vietnam War, and the amount of TCDD (dioxin) contamination present in the agents (per the USAF Herb Tapes):
Brief History of Agent Orange
In the early years of WWII, a grant was provided by the National Research Council to develop a chemical to destroy rice crops in Japan (the major food source of the Japanese). 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T (Agent Orange) was the result. A discussion between President Roosevelt and White House Chief of Staff, Admiral William D. Leahy determined that this heinous chemical should not be used. Agent Orange was not used during WWII.
In 1961, President Kennedy signed two orders allowing Agent Orange to be used in Vietnam. One order to destroy crops, and another order to defoliate the jungle. [Note: These orders were signed prior to major U.S. intervention.]
Agent Orange and other herbicides were used extensively through 1970 (and thereafter until the end of the Vietnam War).
|Da Nang, China Beach||13,800||0||2,000||15,800|
|Duc Pho, LZ Bronco||46,225||14,400||1,175||61,800|
|Khe Sanh, Firebase Smith||43,705||3,040||4,300||51,045|
|LZ Dogpatch, Hill 327||4,490||0||8,250||12,740|
|LZ Jane, Firebase Barbara||91,150||6,750||3,700||101,600|
|LZ Langley, Firebase Shepard||72,105||7,040||4,800||83,945|
|LZ Profess, Hill 55||39,300||13,000||17,209||69,509|
|LZ Rockcrusher, Hill 85||47,800||0||0||47,800|
|LZ Snapper, Firebase Leather||11,350||0||3,000||14,350|
|Marble, Hill 59||15,405||6,720||18,508||40,633|
|Phu Luc, LZ Tommahawk||78,250||4,000||0||82,250|
|Quang Tri, LZ Nancy||68,000||2,750||3,700||74,450|
|An Khe, Camp Radcliff||37,810||6,400||5,610||49,820|
|An Lao, LZ Laramie||68,970||490||10,570||80,030|
|Ban Me Thuot||16,000||9,250||0||25,250|
|Bon Song, LZ Two Bits||80,643||630||6,000||87,273|
|Cam Ranh Bay||21,227||1,373||0||22,600|
|LZ Dog, LZ English||63,073||630||6,000||69,703|
|LZ Oasis||No Data|
|LZ Putter, Firebase Bird||50,095||0||7,200||57,295|
|Plei Ho, SF Camp||15,300||1,260||110||16,670|
|Puh Cat, LZ Hammond||29,700||7,210||0||36,910|
|Dau Tieng (Michelin)||32,370||45,800||3,800||81,770|
|Dien Duc, Firebase Elaine||66,850||25,800||0||92,350|
|Firebase Di An||6,000||0||1,595||7,595|
|Firebase Jewel, LZ Snuffy||219,550||146,010||7,300||372,860|
|Long Binh, Firebase Concord||13,445||57,560||0||71,005|
|LZ Fish Nook||44,000||23,800||0||67,800|
|Nha Be (Navy Base)||119,725||121,925||6,000||247,650|
|Nui Ba Den, Firebase Carolin||50,020||66,500||2,100||118,620|
|Tan Son Nhut||6,320||0||1,595||7,915|
|Vo Dat, Firebase Nancy||14,180||29,100||0||43,280|
|Firebase Grand Can(yon?)||0||1,540||0||1,540|
|Description||TCDD (Dioxin) Amounts|
|Agent Orange||1.77 to 40 ppm|
|Agent Blue (Purple)||32.8 to 45 ppm|
|Agent Red (Pink)||65.6 ppm|
|Agent White (Green)||65.6 ppm|
|Silvex||1 to 70 ppm|
|2,4,5-T (Current)||0.1 ppm or less|
Half Life. The length of time required for half a quantity of drug, or other substance residing in a living organism to be metabolized, or eliminated by normal biological processes. It is also called biological half-life. The half-life of dioxin is 8.7 years in humans (as determined in the Ranch Hand (follow-up) studies).
PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (Dysfunction). A psychological condition that occurs after a trauma (stressful trauma situation, e.g., war, accident, rape, robbery, etc.). PTSD is characterized by anxiety, depression, guilt, sorrow (or grief), a sense of shame, death anxiety, panic, low self-esteem, rage, and/or any combination of these. Treatment varies with the severity, and willingness of the person to seek help.
Sarcoma. A malignant tumor arising from connective tissues. Soft Tissue Sarcomas are tumors in muscles, fat, fibrous tissue, and vessels serving these tissues as well as the peripheral nervous system.
TCDD Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (also 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-para-dioxin), commonly known as dioxin. TCDD is in reality a family of dioxins that contain four (4) chlorine atoms each. Therefore, TCDD is classified as a chlorinated organic chemical. TCDD (dioxin) is, perhaps, the most detrimental and damaging chemical ever produced. It's effects will be with us for generations.
credit for above information to: Gary D. Moore, (The Last) Chairman, Michigan Agent Orange Commission, 5161 Howard Road, Smiths Creek, Michigan 48074-2023 USA, Updated: October 1, 2000 http://dns.advnet.net/gdmoore/index.html