Are the Effects of Agent Orange Still Visible in Vietnam?


Quick Answer

As of 2015, the effects of Agent Orange are still visible in Vietnam. Children of the second post-war generation in Vietnam have been born with deformities that doctors believe to be a result of the Agent Orange defoliant. In the streets of Vietnam’s cities and towns, thousands of beggars suffer deformities such as head-swelling, twisted bodies and unnaturally bent limbs. Some Vietnamese are born without eyes.

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Full Answer

The Vietnam War ended in 1975, but memories of the conflict remain as a result of the visible effects of Agent Orange. During the war, the U.S. Army sprayed over 20 million gallons of Agent Orange in Vietnam, parts of Cambodia and eastern Laos as part of Operation Ranch Hand. The main goal of the operation was to defoliate the jungle and deprive North Vietnamese guerrillas of their cover and food.

Over 5 million acres of both mangrove and upland forest cover, as well as acres of food crops, were destroyed using the defoliant. About 4 million people of the war generation were exposed to the chemical, while 3 million others of the post-war generations have suffered the effects of Agent Orange. As of 2015, the Red Cross of Vietnam estimates that over 1 million people still suffer deformities caused by the defoliant.

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