Democracy Now: U.S. Begins 1st-Ever Clean-up of Agent Orange in Vietnam
The United States has entered into its first-ever clean-up operation of Vietnamese areas contaminated by the toxic chemical defoliant Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. The United States sprayed nearly 20 million gallons of Agent Orange on a quarter of the former South Vietnam and border areas of Cambodia and Laos between 1962 and 1971. Agent Orange has been linked to cancer, diabetes and birth defects among millions of Vietnamese, as well as U.S. veterans. Earlier today, the U.S. ambassador to Vietnam, David Shear, kicked off a project to clean up the chemical at a major airport.
David Shear: “This process uses high temperatures to break down the dioxin in the contaminated soil and make it safe by Vietnamese and U.S. standards for the many men, women and children who live and work in this area. The dioxin in the ground here is a legacy of the painful past we share, but the project we undertake here today hand in hand with the Vietnamese is, as Secretary [Hillary] Clinton said, a sign of the hopeful future we are building together.”