Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Unfinished Business: Suffering and sickness in the endless wake of Agent Orange
http://www.cleveland.com/agentorange/index.ssf/2011/01/unfinished_business_suffering.html By Plain Dealer staff
Published: Sunday, January 30, 2011
Photo Lisa DeJong, PD
Vietnam and the United States have a common enemy.
Its name is Agent Orange.
From 1962 to 1971, the U.S. military sprayed millions of gallons of the herbicide, which contained the toxic chemical dioxin, to defoliate the jungles and forests that gave cover to Ho Chi Minh's northern forces in what was then South Vietnam.
At least 4.5 million Vietnamese, and the 2.5 million Americans who served there, may have been exposed to Agent Orange. These numbers do not reflect the possible impact on future generations.
The U.S. Veterans Administration now recognizes 15 illnesses linked to war-time exposure. The Vietnam Red Cross estimates that roughly 3 million adults and children continue to suffer illnesses and birth deformities because of these contaminated sites.
This is a fixable problem.
To the majority of Americans, it is also an invisible one.
The Vietnam War ended but a silent threat from Agent Orange remained
Friendship Village provides support to people affected by Agent Orange