Sunday, September 2, 2012

Agent Orange

The Vietnam war has been over for 23 years. However, one weapon that was used by the Americans is still lethal - Agent Orange. New research shows it is still creating environmental chaos, poisoning the food chain and causing serious concern over its effects on human health. Agent Orange is the combination of the code names for Herbicide Orange(HO) and Agent LNX, one of the herbicides and defoliants used by the U.S military as part of its herbicidal warfare program. Vietname estimates 400,00- thousand people were killed or maimed, and 500,00 children were born with birth defects. The Red Cross estimates that up to one million people are disabled or have health problems as a result of Agent Orange.

Children in the areas where Agent Orange was used have been affected and have multiple health problems, including cleft palate, mental disabilities, hernias and/or extra fingers and toes. In the 1970's, high levels of dioxin were found in the breast milk of Southern Vietnamese women, and in the blood of U.S soldiers who served in Vietnam during that time.



Le Dang Kiet,age 5, is blind and can't speak looks out from a window at the Duc Son Pagoda in Hue, Vietnam. There are 15 handicapped children amongst the 190 orphans, most are suffering from the effects of Agent Orange.- LINK

Tran Minh Anh, born 14/10/1994 is a patient at the Peace Village in the Tu Du(Freedom) Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo credit: David Dare Parker

Photo credit: Aaron Joel Santos

A boy, born of parents who were affected by Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, lives in an orphanage at the Tu Do Obstetrical Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City. Many "Agent Orange babies" are abandoned by their parents who are too poor to provide the care they need. The Tu Du Obstetrical Hospital is an important center for International and Vietnamese research on the long term effects of this chemical.Photo credit: Steve Raymer - LINK

Third Generation Victims of Agent Orange at the Ba Vi Orphanage in Vietnam. Photo credit: Justin Mott

Agent Orange victim Nguyen Thi Hong Van and her mother, Nguyen Thi Luu. Defoliants were sprayed over vast swathes of jungle in an attempt to flush out Viet Cong communist guerrillas by depriving them of tree cover and food. (Photo: AFP) - LINK

Le Thi Hong Hanh, a 19 year old was born with hands and feet. Her skin falls from her and her whole body is a mass of scabs and open wounds. Her hands and feet have worn down to mere stumps. - LINK

Trien Meng Hiep, 9, against wall, is hugged by another boy at a "PeaceVillage" center in Tu Du hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, in this May 25, 2007. Both of the boys were born with severe physical deformities typical of spina bifida and which hospital officials suspect to have been caused by their parents exposure to dioxin in the chemical defoliant Agent Orange. - LINK

Five-year-old girl Tran Huynh Thuong Sinh, who was born without eyes in the Binh Dinh province of Vietnam, is fed breakfast by a nurse at the "Peace Village" center at Tu Du hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, May 25, 2007. Officials at the hospital suspect that the dioxin in Agent Orange blocks the receptors in a developing fetus, preventing the hormones that would normally instruct the cells to form eyes from doing so. - LINK

Photo credit: Aaron Joel Santos - LINK

Patient at the friendship village outside of Hanoi. Photo credit: Aaron Joel Santos - LINK

Photo Courtesy of Philip Jones Griffiths - LINK

Children eat lunch on July 6, 2009, at Tu Du Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Many children in the hospital, who are from areas that were heavily sprayed by Agent Orange during the war, suffer mental and physical problems due to exposure to the toxic herbicide. Photo credit: Kuni Takahashi


"Agent Orange - A lethal legacy".Memories of the Vietnam War are dimming, but Vietnamese who were exposed to Agent Orange and other dioxin-laced chemicals during the fighting are still experiencing devastating health effects, and birth defects have brought the impact into a second generation. Photo credit: Kuni Takahashi


  1. I've been to Vietnam- in Ho Chi Minh City there's a museum dedicated to Vietnamese War, with a whole exhibiton of Agent Orange impact. It's very hard to look at those pictures, showing deformed fetuses, blind children, people so mutated they can't live on their own, which in a country like Vietnam is a life sentence- there's not enough money to compensate the tragedy to most of the victims, often with no family ready to help. I think the pictures are available in the internet.