According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, effects of exposure to Agent Orange include increased risk of developing diseases such as AL amyloidosis, certain chronic B-cell leukemia, chloracne, type 2 diabetes mellitus, Hodgkin disease, ischemic heart disease, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Parkinson disease, early-onset peripheral neuropathy, porphyria cutanea tarda, prostrate cancer and soft tissue sarcomas. In addition, exposure increases risks for cancers of the lungs, larynx, trachea and bronchus.
Exposure to Agent Orange in men increases the chance of the birth defect spina bifida in their children, states the VA. According to the Veterans Health Council, exposure in women leads to an increase in the birth defects cleft lip, cleft palate, congenital heart disease, clubfoot, Hallermann-Streiff syndrome, hip dysplasia, congenital megacolon, esophageal atresia, intestinal atresia, hydrocephalus caused by aqueductal stenosis, abnormal openings in the urethra, imperforate anus, webbed fingers, pyloric stenosis, fused digits, tracheoesophageal fistula, undescended testicles and thyroid defects.
Agent Orange is a combination of herbicides that contains the toxic chemical dioxin. It was used as an herbicide during the Vietnam and Korean Wars to strip trees of leaves, depriving guerrilla fighters of their cover and to kill their food crops. It is known as Agent Orange because of the orange stripe on the barrels used to store the herbicide.