For decades, concerns from the citizens of Guam as well as many United States military veterans have circulated about the reported use of the toxic herbicide Agent Orange on the island. Now, the United States federal government has begun to address the issue for the first time since a class action lawsuit was filed in 1979. Sampling of the soil at multiple subsites across Guam starting in spring of 2018, resulted in inconclusive findings. A new series of tests are currently underway, results are expected to be announced soon.
The recent attention to concerns of toxic herbicides like Agent Orange can largely be attributed to Master Sergeant Leroy Foster, who has testified to spraying tens of thousands of gallons over Guam in deforestation operations. Foster states that his exposure to Agent Orange has caused him various diseases, including as well as cancer. Foster is not the only veteran who has made similar claims regarding his exposure to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. The previously mentioned class action lawsuit brought against the US government resulted in a $180 million payout, spread across thousands of veterans who had been exposed to the herbicide.