Was it really a moral choice to use Agent Orange during the Vietnam Conflict? Agent Orange was a defoliant used during the Vietnam conflict. According to the U.S. Veteran Dispatch ,the herbicide was first called in to action in 1962 by the U.S. military. The powerful herbicide known as “Agent Orange” contained two main chemicals dioxin and TCDD 1, 4, 5. These chemicals were already potent by themselves but when combined they created one of the most powerful herbicides known to man. Agent Orange was only one of the many “Rainbow herbicides”. The different rainbow herbicides used in Vietnam were: Agent White, Agent Purple, Agent Blue, and the most lethal of them all Agent Orange. The nick names given to the different defoliants and herbicides were the cause of the barrels they were shipped in. For example Agent Orange was shipped in an orange striped barrel. The defoliant was first developed by a German scientist who worked at the University of Chicago’s Botany research department. Professor E. J. Kraus first came up with the defoliant at the end of World War II. His research found that 2 ,4, Dichorophconxaectic acid would kill plants in 24 to 48 hours after contact with the chemical. The Army’s Chemical Corps started to experiment with the herbicide in the late 1950’s. That’s when they came with the most effective version of “Agent Orange”. The Army Chemical Corps new defoliant was the result of the military’s dire need to expose an enemy hidden deep in dense jungles of Vietnam.
Was it safe to be exposed to Agent Orange for long periods of time? According to The U.S. Veterans Dispatch. Having even slight contact with the defoliant can cause minor health problems. But slight was not the case for some solders and workers involved with Agent Orange. The people that were exposed the most were the workers who made the chemical and the pilots who sprayed the defoliant. But countless others were exposed this chemical without even knowing it....
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