enough toxic herbicide sprayed
to blanket one-fourth of the country.
The chemical was Agent Orange, the occasion was the U.S. war in Vietnam.
Between 1961 and 1971, the U.S. sprayed 12 million gallons of Dioxin-contaminated Agent Orange (in addition to 8 million gallons of other herbicides) on Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia—an average of 5,200 gallons a day for 3,735 days.
By the end of Operation Ranch Hand in 1971, nearly 20,000 sorties had been flown. Over 7,813 square miles of upland and mangrove forests and 781 square miles of crops (an area roughly the size of New Hampshire) were destroyed. In total, more than 66,000 square miles of South Vietnam, along with large areas of Laos and parts of Cambodia, were impacted.
The U.S. used Agent Orange and other herbicides to defoliate forests and destroy crop land in an effort to eliminate its enemies’ jungle hiding places and deny them food. The damage will continue for decades to come, as much of the herbicides used in the war were up to 50 times the concentration recommended for killing plants. Two-thirds of the herbicides used were also contaminated with TCDD, a form of Dioxin—a highly toxic substance linked to at least 19 classes of cancer and other medical conditions, as well as several birth defects.
Ever since the war’s end, the people of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia have been saddled with the lethal aftermath. Exposure to these toxic herbicides has yielded untold misery and health complications for those who served in Vietnam during the war, for their families, and for many others who were exposed to the herbicides where they were manufactured, used, or stored.
The Agent Orange Record provides a comprehensive and objective examination of the most devastating defoliant used in the U.S. war in Vietnam: its toxic legacies; its impact, intended and otherwise, on Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia; and its unintended impacts on the United States. The Record also describes the efforts to repair the damage from the herbicides to land and people.
Agent Orange Record, in order to promote greater understanding, includes a repository of the most critical resources on Agent Orange in English and Vietnamese.
Agent Orange. A humanitarian cause we can do something about. We can make Agent Orange history.