Monday, June 22, 2015

Agent Orange' legacy continues to haunt next generation of West Kimberley families
A weed-spraying program that used toxic chemicals linked to Agent Orange continues to haunt families in Western Australia's Kimberley.
Groups of men - many of them now dead - sprayed the chemicals wearing little more than shorts and singlets during the 1970s and '80s.
Standing in the Derby cemetery looking down over the graves of two of her children and one grandchild, Lena Buckle-Fraser says she will never forget the smell.
The memory of that toxic scent is now associated with only one thing for the Derby elder - death.

"I lost my third son Lance in 1998, my daughter in 2001 and Kingsley, my grandchild, in 2010," she said.
"I know it was that Agent Orange that killed them."
In the early 1970s the WA Agriculture Protection Board hired more than 300 men to eradicate the weeds, Noogoora Burr and Parkinsonia, that were affecting livestock across northern WA.
The herbicide the men were spraying contained the now-banned substance 245T - an ingredient in the defoliant Agent Orange.
Ms Buckle-Fraser lived with her five children next door to where she said the trucks that held the barrels of the substance were parked and stored over the wet season.
"When the rain would come it would wash all the residue off the drums and into my yard," she said.
"There was a hollow where the clothesline was and the children use to play in that."

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