Monday, January 4, 2010

A Lethal Legacy

Part 1 of 5: U.S. veterans exposed to Agent Orange face delays and a maddening bureaucracy as they seek compensation for related illnesses. In Vietnam, where untold numbers of people suffer from the same maladies and the chemicals continue to poison the environment, government officials wonder how the U.S. can ignore the ongoing effects of the defoliants.

Part 2: 'Insult to injury'

For many U.S. veterans, the bureaucratic fight to be compensated for health problems linked to Agent Orange amounts to a new and unexpected war, long after the shooting ended overseas.

Part 3: Born into controversy

The most contentious question surrounding the use of defoliants in the war is their impact on citizens, particularly the suspected link between the herbicides and birth defects.

Part 4: A poison still potent

New research finds former U.S. airbases in Vietnam remain polluted from defoliants, underscoring the urgency of a solvable problem. The U.S. has done little to clean up the hot spots.

Part 5: Danger not averted

The Tribune unearths documents showing that decisions by the U.S. military and chemical companies that manufactured the defoliants used in Vietnam made the spraying more dangerous than it had to be.

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