Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Vietnam to master homegrown dioxin remediation


Vietnam will develop its own technique to clean up dioxin left from the Vietnam War instead of relying on U.S. collaboration.

Colonel General Nguyen Chi Vinh, Deputy Minister of National Defense, told a Friday meeting Vietnam targets to complete dioxin remediation across all contaminated areas that have been detected by 2025.

Affected areas include Bien Hoa Airport, the most contaminated spot in the country in Dong Nai Province, neighboring Ho Chi Minh City, and A So Airport in central Thua Thien-Hue Province.

Related agencies will continue to investigate the current status of toxic chemical and dioxin residues in other areas sprayed during the war that last from 1955 to 1975.

Vietnam is expected to develop its own method of cleaning up dioxin, with all such projects thus far completed in collaboration with the U.S.

Between 1961 and 1971, the U.S. army sprayed some 80 million liters of Agent Orange, compounds of dioxins and dioxin-like mixtures, over 78,000 square kilometers (30,000 square miles) of southern Vietnam.

Dioxin, a highly toxic chemical contained in the defoliant, stays in the soil and at the bottom of lakes and rivers for generations. It can enter the food chain through meat, fish and other animals, and has been found at alarmingly high levels in human breast milk.

Between 2.1 to 4.8 million Vietnamese were directly exposed to Agent Orange and other chemicals, which have been linked to cancers, birth defects and other chronic diseases.


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