Use of Agent Orange in Vietnam
CED-78-158, Aug 16, 1978
Concerns have been expressed about the Department of Defense's (DOD) use of Agent Orange, a herbicide, in Vietnam because it contains the highly toxic contaminant dioxin. From August 1965 to 1971, DOD sprayed 11.22 million gallons of Agent Orange in Vietnam, with about 3 gallons per acre sprayed undiluted. DOD has little information available on the number or extent of personnel exposure to herbicides in Vietnam. However, aircraft crews involved in spraying missions were more likely to have been exposed than were others, and their records could possibly be traced. Early DOD research on herbicide use in Vietnam was concerned with effectiveness more than with health effects. Later DOD ecological studies failed to demonstrate long-term health effects, but the National Academy of Sciences believed that further studies were needed. DOD does not have plans for epidemiological studies related to herbicide uses in Vietnam.