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Paper 1 start - B rewer 1 Alyssa Brewer Ms. Wise Eng...

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Brewer 1 Alyssa Brewer Ms. Wise Eng 101-097 September 17 th , 2010 One Significant Ghost: Agent Orange’s Destruction. In 1962, the United States Military began using chemical known as Agent Orange which is a defoliant to destroy crops and eliminate ground cover during the Vietnam War. The Vietnamese troops would hide underneath the thick brush and make it difficult or impossible to spot them. So to protect the American soldiers, the Army began using Agent Orange as a way of eliminating that problem. The chemical got its name because of an orange stripe that went around the barrel that was used to ship the herbicide. Though it has a simple name, the government had very little knowledge about the deadly chemical but went ahead and used it. Not only did it destroy crops and a way of living for many Vietnamese families, it has also caused several health problems in American soldiers, Vietnamese soldiers, and even the civilians of both countries. ( Agent Orange ) Due to the lack of knowledge before the usage of Agent Orange, the American Government did not know damage it would cause in excess to the crop destruction and defoliation. It has killed many people, given people incurable diseases, and made many people disabled since birth. The United States government should be held more liable for the defects and destruction caused by its use of Agent Orange. Agent Orange is a roughly 1:1 mixture of two herbicides , 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid and 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid . Both of these herbicides were developed in the 1940's, and were effective against broad leaf plants and several crops. It was revealed to the public in 1969 that the 2,4,5-T was contaminated with a dioxin, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzodioxin (TCDD).
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It was also revealed that it was what causing many of the adverse health effects which were correlated with Agent Orange exposure. It is now banned by the Geneva Convention on Chemical weapons due to the dioxins in it. (Moore, Gary) It was in 1961, that President Kennedy signed two orders allowing Agent Orange to be used in Vietnam. Each order had a different purpose. The first was to destroy crops, so the Vietnamese had limited food supplies for the soldiers, and the second was to defoliate the jungle so the enemy soldiers could not hide and surprise attack our soldiers (Moore, Gary). After President Kennedy signed the orders the army began spraying between 1962 and 1971. In the nine years’ time, the United States military sprayed approximately 20 million gallons of the chemical herbicide and defoliant in Vietnam, eastern Laos and parts of Cambodia, as part of Operation Ranch Hand . (Moore, Gary) Military records show that over 6,500 spraying missions took place by 1971, over 12 percent of the total area of South Vietnam had been sprayed with defoliating chemicals. Sometimes the chemicals were applied at rates that were 13 times the legal USDA limit. (Cohn,
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Paper 1 start - B rewer 1 Alyssa Brewer Ms. Wise Eng...

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