Dozens of rusting barrels unearthed on former U.S. military
land in Okinawa City have been identified as containing chemical
precursors to defoliant Agent Orange, a toxic compound used widely in
the Vietnam War and blamed for poisoning that has resulted in birth
defects and other health problems.
Dug up more than five months ago, the 61 barrels contain
three signature components of Agent Orange: the herbicides 2,4,5-T and
2,4-D, and the highly toxic TCDD dioxin, according to two independent
teams of experts representing Okinawa City and the Okinawa Defense
It is the first time that all three ingredients have been identified on former U.S. military property on Okinawa.
About half of the 61 barrels bore markings of the Dow
Chemical Company, one of the largest manufacturers of Agent Orange for
the U.S. military.
The presence of the three chemical precursors “unequivocally
defines at least some of the media sampled as being contaminated with
this defoliant,” said environmental biologist Wayne Dwernychuk, who has
studied the impact of Agent Orange in Vietnam.
“Dow Chemical markers on the drums further contribute to
this conclusion that the original contents of some of these drums was
Agent Orange,” he added.
READ MORE: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/07/11/national/agent-orange-ingredients-found-okinawa-military-dumpsite/#.U7_497FhsTC