What is Agent Orange?

The United States military sprayed nearly 20,000,000 U.S. gallons (75,700,000 L) of chemical herbicides and defoliants in Vietnam, eastern Laos, and parts of Cambodia as part of the aerial defoliation program known as Operation Ranch Hand.

Agent Orange was used by the United States Military to defoliate the jungle and disrupt the food supply during the Vietnam War. Agent Orange was an equal mixture of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-d), and 2,4,5 trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T). The 2,4,5-T contained Dioxin (TCDD), a industrial byproduct. Dioxin is highly toxic and can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and also cause cancer.

Despite dozens of scientific studies that link the toxic pesticide 2,4-D (2,4-dichlorophenoxy acetic acid) to cancer and other health risks such as cell damage, hormonal interference, and reproductive problems, it is still used in excessive amounts in the United States today.

Agent Orange was named for the orange stripe around the center of the fifty-five gallon drum it was stored in. There were many variants of herbicides used during the war also named for the stripe color around the barrel, including Agent Orange, Blue, White, Green, and Pink. Agent Orange is the term used to represent the rainbow herbicides.

First Hand Exposure

Anyone who was exposed to Agent Orange directly is considered to have first hand exposure to Agent Orange. This group is also considered first generation Agent Orange Victims.

EXAMPLES (NOT ALL ARE RECOGNIZED OR COMPENSATED)

  1. United States Military members serving in contaminated areas, around contaminated equipment, or contaminated Navy vessels from 1961-1971.
  2. People’s Army of Vietnam: the North Vietnamese Military members who traveled to or south of the DMZ
  3. Australian Military members who served in areas contaminated
  4. Army of the Republic of Vietnam; the South Vietnamese Military members
  5. New Zealand Military members who served in areas contaminated
  6. Civilians living in areas contaminated during the time period
  7. Anyone who served along the DMZ in Korea from 1968-1971
Environmental Exposure

Anyone living or working in an environment contaminated by Agent Orange after initial spraying.

EXAMPLES (NOT ALL ARE RECOGNIZED OR COMPENSATED)

  1. United States C123 crew members who flew contaminated aircraft after the war
  2. Vietnamese citizens who live near 28 hot spots still contaminated with high levels of dioxin found in the soil and sediment
Genetic Exposure

Anyone who is a child of someone with first hand exposure or environmental exposure to Agent Orange has the potential to have genetic exposure. This group is considered second generation victims of Agent Orange.

EXAMPLES (NOT ALL ARE RECOGNIZED OR COMPENSATED)

  1. Children of United States Military members serving in contaminated areas, around contaminated equipment, or contaminated Navy vessels from 1961-1971
  2. Children of People’s Army of Vietnam: the North Vietnamese Military members who traveled to or south of the DMZ
  3. Children of Australian Military members who served in areas contaminated
  4. Children of Army of the Republic of Vietnam; the South Vietnamese Military members
  5. Children of New Zealand Military members who served in areas contaminated
  6. Children of civilians living in areas contaminated during the time period it was used
  7. Children of anyone who served along the DMZ in Korea from 1968-1971
  8. Children of United States C123 crew members who flew contaminated aircraft after the war
  9. Children of Vietnamese citizens who live near 28 hot spots still contaminated with high levels of dioxin found in the soil and sediment
  10. It has been stated genetic damage from Agent Orange will continue for at least seven generations. The grandchildren of those with first hand exposure are called third generation Victims of Agent Orange and so on.