In the seaside city of Da Nang, Vietnam, a clean-up is underway to remove dioxin-contaminated soil at a former U.S. military air base. Some 8,500 miles to the east, another clean-up is underway to remove dioxin hot spots along the Passaic River in Newark, NJ and upstream, where tides and floods have washed the worrisome stuff into a county park and into mudflats along a popular stretch of water where high school rowers race and families often relax along the banks and fish.
Long after the Vietnam War ended, the toxic trail left by
dioxin-laced Agent Orange stretches from Newark, where herbicides were
manufactured for the military in a way that created a long-lasting
contaminant, to Southeast Asia—where millions of gallons of the
supersized plant-killer were sprayed on jungles, mangrove swamps,
military bases and airfield perimeters during a decade of war starting
Unveiled by the Internet’s astounding accumulation of news and
government reports, the toxic trail of testing, transporting and trying
out these chemicals—which were made in New Jersey, Michigan, West
Virginia, Arkansas, Missouri and Kansas—further extends to South Korea,
Australia, Canada, Guam, Panama, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Mississippi,
Florida, Maryland, New York and many other states.
This alarming drumbeat of news reports began in the late 1960s, as
the chemical spray operations aimed at exposing enemy ambush sites and
supply routes in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand set off rising
waves of concern about rashes of health problems among Vietnamese
The herbicide spraying on the other side of the world forty-some
years ago still reverberates here at home, especially among Vietnam
“They sell huge shrimp in stores here—check the package to see where
it’s from. They grow shrimp in bomb craters in Vietnam,” says Jim
Fallon, of Hoboken, NJ, who developed bone cancer in his right arm after
serving as a U.S. Army medic in Vietnam.
READ MORE: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/01/30/1183295/-Update-Agent-Orange-s-Toxic-Trail