Agent Orange a lethal agent?
Agent Orange key ingredient is Dioxin.
At first there was no commercial use for Dioxin. It was a byproduct Of the manufacture of products like trichlorophenol (1 ).
Director of Rocky Mountain Poison control Center in Denver, Dr. Barry H. Rumack said "Dioxin is probably one of the most toxic chemicals known in the world," (2 ).
Dioxin is 170,000 times more lethal than cyanide (3 ).
It' use for national defense
From 1962 to 1971 the U.S. sprayed 19 million gallons of herbicides over 5 million acres of South Vietnam. The reason for this was to remove the enemies hiding places (4 ).
Agent Orange was also used by the US in Korea at the North and South Korea border in 1968-69. Fifty thousand soldiers manually sprayed it (5 ).
secrets, cover ups and half truths
The general population didn't know the real concentration of Dioxin in Agent Orange it was thought to be 3 parts per million. It is now believed that is was 13 parts per million(6 ).
Memos from March 1965 told of a covert meeting at Dow Headquarters. Among the attendees were major players in the field of pesticide, Hooker Chemical, Diamond Alkali and Hercules Powder. Part of the reason for the meeting was to keep the real dangers of from exploding into a public scandal. A participant from Hercules Powder wrote "They [Dow] are particularly fearful of a congressional investigation and excessive restrictive legislation on the manufacture of pesticides."(7 ).