|Barrels of Agent Orange|
by Frank Fox
After I came home from Vietnam, I worked for many years in the Environmental Health and Safety field.
While I was there, the puzzle finally came together ...
Agent Orange (Herbicide Orange) was only one of the herbicides and defoliants used by the U.S. military as part of its herbicidal warfare program, Operation Ranch Hand, during the Vietnam War from 1961 to 1967. For that, a mixture of equal parts of two herbicides, 2,4,5-T and 2,4-D was used.
The 2,4,5-T was shipped in bulk containers (55 gallon orange-striped drums, hence the name agent orange). The drums had no hazard handling labels, nor did the military train anyone on it’s safe handling, cautions, and proper use of PPE (personal protective equipment) while handling it. Back then, there were no cautionary measures taken, because it was not known that any were necessary.
|Applying Agent Orange|
They got it all over them and on their smokes and they just puffed away as usual.
The stuff is still toxic in the soil today.
Because it was happening in a land far away from the U.S., there was no alarm, nor monitoring. They just kept painting the jungle with it -- as well as animals, U.S. troops, and civilians.
I would like to think that these days, any company would require and document the training and safe handling of such toxic material. At least I hope we handle toxic materials better today. Sadly, it came too late for many who were exposed to Agent Orange, or any other chemicals.
US Navy with USMC
August 1964 – August 1970 (6 years 1 month)
More Articles by Frank Fox:
My Brother "Bear"
Vets Sharing Recipes: Breakfast Pizza
Old School Patriotism is Still Alive
Vets Sharing Recipes: Southwest Chicken
The White House Christmas Card
War: Some Are Better Prepared
The Marine and the Cure
More Thoughts on War and Youth
Opinions, Thoughts and Feelings
A Different Perspective
A Worthy Rebuttal to Mr. Garrison
“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do, and by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale
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