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Published On January 15, 2014

The Legacy of Agent Orange

The fallout from exposure to Agent Orange—used to defoliate jungles during the Vietnam War—continues to be felt.

18
Gallons, in millions, of herbicides sprayed via fixed-wing aircraft over approximately 3.6 million acres in Vietnam to defoliate the thick jungle canopy and expose opposition forces during Operation Ranch Hand, from August 1965 to February 1971

0.05 to 50 
Parts per million of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), informally known as dioxin, that contaminated Agent Orange, the most extensively used herbicide in Vietnam, during its manufacture; TCDD has been shown to alter gene expression

2.7 
Millions of American veterans who served as “boots on the ground” or on ships in the inland waterways of Vietnam, presumed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to have been exposed to Agent Orange

2 to 5 
Millions of Vietnamese estimated to have been exposed to herbicides, including Agent Orange


Groups of cancers that the VA recognizes as connected to Agent Orange exposure (there is no way to conclusively pinpoint the herbicide as the cause)

573,088 
Number of initial evaluations conducted, as of Sept. 30, 2012, by the Agent Orange Registry program since its creation in 1978

3,800 
Dollars, on average, that each of approximately 52,000 Vietnam veterans or their survivors received as a result of a $180 million class action settlement paid out between 1988 and 1996; attorney fees for the lawsuit totalled $10.9 million

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