August 12, 2012
U.S. in first effort to clean up Agent Orange in Vietnam
The United States has pitched in for the first time to clean up part of the toxic legacy left by the millions of gallons of the chemical compound code named Agent Orange that it dumped on Vietnam during the war there in the 1960s and '70s.
The U.S. military used Agent Orange, also known as dioxin, to kill trees and plants that blocked visibility from the air during the Vietnam War. But the chemical, which can cause cancer and birth defects, also harmed humans and left areas of Vietnam contaminated.
In an effort to start addressing this noxious remnant of the war, the U.S. and Vietnamese governments, along with partnering organizations, are treating a contaminated zone at the airport of the central Vietnamese city of Danang.
Workers will dig up soil, stockpile it, and treat it using high temperatures that break down the dioxin.