Agent Orange (AO) and Other Dioxins

AO Spraying by AircraftThe spraying begins - 1961Agent Orange is one of several dioxins used to defoliate the jungle (kill vegetation) to give our military an advantage in finding the enemy in the jungle terrain.

Other agents used included Agent Blue, White, and Purple. It wasn't the color of actual agent sprayed but a code for the contents and potency of the agent used. Although it may have sounded great at the time both the military and chemical companies were aware of the hazards. No protection was given to the personnel handling or spraying the agents nor ground troops who moved into sprayed areas.

Agent Orange was carried by rain run off, rivers, and seeped into ground water.

AO and other dioxins were sprayed by by airplanes, helicopters, tanker trucks, and by hand.



Over 23 Million Gallons were sprayed

Agent Orange was sprayed in numerous areas of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and the Korean DMZ. It is now assumed by the VA that if you set foot in Vietnam, you were exposed to Agent Orange. The most infamous spraying operation was Operation Ranch Hand. This was the largest spraying operation but spraying was authorized for use as early as 1961, way before Operation Ranch Hand. It is unknown the number of gallons sprayed elsewhere and the precise locations of many sprayings.

AO was used as weed killer around bases and quarters, near mess halls, and water sources. I have been unable to find an exact account of how much AO was transported to SE Asia or returned to the U.S. All of this spraying and use was carried out by our unsuspecting servicemen. Unfortunately the VA has not granted blanket coverage to areas in the United States and the Pacific where these dioxins were handled and transported.

How Many Deaths and Illnesses?

If you don't believe Agent Orange causes illness you may find this shocking. There are a little over 900,000 Vietnam Veterans alive today. Over 3.2 Million served in SE Asia. Our Vietnam veterans are dying younger than any previous generation. Approximately 300 veterans from that generation die every day. On their death certificate it won't read Agent Orange as cause of death and the VA has no way of knowing exactly how may Veterans have died from Agent Orange or the exact number of ill Veterans.

Why? Because Agent Orange causes dozens of illnesses, most cancerous, and that is the cause of death. Unknown are the numbers of Veterans who are affected that haven't sought treatment through the VA and are unaware of where or why their cancer was caused. The most prevalent disease is Type II diabetes.

Every two years the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine along with others prepare a report for the Secretary of the VA to submit to congress. Every two years the list of associated diseases has grown and is recognized as also causing birth defects in Veterans children.

Most of the diseases may come years and decades after exposure. The studies show that our Veterans rate of illness increase with age compared to the normal population. More cause to get to the VA and get a FREE examination.

Diseases Associated with Agent Orange

All diseases recognized by the VA are considered presumptive diseases. For a listing visit VA Recognized Diseases. This list includes the recently added diseases.

* The law requires that some of these diseases be at least 10% disabling under VA’s rating regulations within a deadline that began to run the day you left Vietnam. If there is a deadline, it is listed in the information regarding the disease.

Agent Orange and Dioxin Areas of Use and Storage

There were numerous locations outside of Vietnam and in the United States where AO was stored, handled and sprayed. It was sprayed in Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and the Korean DMZ. For specific areas visit Agent Orange Outside Vietnam. It is presumed that if you stepped foot in Vietnam you were exposed during the time frame between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975.

A change to the Korean DMZ was made 25 Jan 2011 making the period between April 1, 1968, and Aug. 31, 1971 for exposure dates. Check the link above for all other dates and areas.

Children of Vets Exposed to Agent Orange

Some birth defects are recognized by the VA. Visit Benefits for Veterans Children with Birth Defects

Applying for Compensation

Because of the new changes to rules, new forms, and methods for applying for compensation, work with a certified VSO to insure all information needed, is sent with your claim. You may apply online with the VA or through forms sent to the VA.

Although you may send the claim yourself it's recommended that you work with a VSO and assign a power of attorney (POA) to handle your claim. They can assist you in making sure you have the documentation needed for your claim, assist you with.

Visit our VSO page for contact information of a VVA VSO in Arizona.

Agent Orange Postings from Our Blog

Cross-country horseback rider finishing dad’s bucket list

Mon, 12 Jun 2017 00:42:59 +0000

KINGMAN – Cliff Romberger served in Vietnam from 1970 to 1971 and died in 2015 of a brain disease as a result of exposure to Agent Orange. He was a lifelong horseman and never fulfilled his last bucket list item: to ride coast to coast on horseback[...]

Vietnam Veterans of America to Hold Town Hall Meeting on Generational Effects of the Agent Orange/Dioxin

Thu, 12 May 2016 22:35:32 +0000

PRESS RELEASE Vietnam Veterans of America VVA Chapter 1093, Cochise   IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 25th 2016 No. 4-10 Contact: Press Release Bill Colberg vvavso@cox.net 520-249-8898 Vietnam Veterans of America to Hold Town Hall Meeting on Generationa[...]

For Immediate Release: IOM Releases Veterans and Agent Orange, Update 2014: Bladder Cancer, Hypothroidism, Parkinson-like Symptoms, Hypertension, and Stroke Upgraded; Spina Bifida in offspring Downgraded 

Fri, 11 Mar 2016 07:46:11 +0000

IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 10, 2016   No. 16-9 Mokie Porter 301-585-4000, #146   IOM Releases Veterans and Agent Orange, Update 2014: Bladder Cancer, Hypothroidism, Parkinson-like Symptoms, Hypertension, and Stroke Upgraded; Spina Bifida in of[...]

WKSU News: Ohio Air Force reservists could see Agent Orange relief

Fri, 27 Feb 2015 20:06:25 +0000

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will make an announcement next week about treatment for Air Force reservists who may have been exposed to Agent Orange after Vietnam. For Ohio Public Radio, WYSO’s Lewis Wallace reports U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brow[...]

Agent Orange ingredients found at Okinawa military dumpsite | The Japan Times

Fri, 11 Jul 2014 20:32:29 +0000

Dozens of rusting barrels unearthed on former U.S. military land in Okinawa City have been identified as containing chemical precursors to defoliant Agent Orange, a toxic compound used widely in the Vietnam War and blamed for poisoning that has resul[...]

At least 10 C-123 veterans have died after VA denied their Agent Orange claims, groups say | OregonLive.com

Mon, 30 Jun 2014 21:36:36 +0000

At least 10 veterans exposed to Agent Orange while serving aboard aircraft contaminated by the Vietnam-era defoliant have died after being denied care by the Department of Veterans Affairs, two veterans groups charged Sunday. via At least 10 C-123 ve[...]

Vietnam Vets talk Agent Orange effects – Tucson News Now

Sun, 22 Jun 2014 21:16:24 +0000

TUCSON, AZ Tucson News Now -It’s been decades since local Vietnam Veterans returned home after fighting overseas. Now, some are continuing to fight—this time, for their family’s health. via Vietnam Vets talk Agent Orange effects –[...]

Agent Orange’s Long Legacy, for Vietnam and Veterans

Mon, 12 May 2014 20:08:22 +0000

The use of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War continues to cast a dark shadow over both American veterans and the Vietnamese. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/12/us/agent-oranges-long-legacy-for-vietnam-and-veterans.html?_r=0[...]

Justices Snub Appeal Of $93M Monsanto Agent Orange Deal – Law360

Tue, 08 Apr 2014 02:03:23 +0000

Law360, New York (April 07, 2014, 1:05 PM ET) — The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to take up a group of West Virginia residents’ appeal of a $93 million deal with Monsanto Co. to cover medical damage from Agent Orange herbicide produce[...]

Agent Orange Exposure Appears to Double Risk of Invasive Skin Cancer – Salem-News.Com

Sat, 05 Apr 2014 21:23:39 +0000

Agent Orange Exposure Appears to Double Risk of Invasive Skin CancerArticle by Annette M. BoyleIssue needs to be studied on a larger scale.Mark Clemens, MDHOUSTON – note: last year, Portland VAMC cancer researcher Dr. Mark Garzotto published in[...]