Thursday, July 05, 2007
BASIC FACTS ABOUT THE ISSUE OF AGENT ORANGE IN VIET NAM
More than 19 million gallons of herbicides were sprayed in South Vietnam between 1961 and 1970. About 12 percent of South Vietnam was stripped of foliage, and tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers and innumerable Vietnamese were exposed to dioxins. Toxins that leaked into croplands and rivers around the sprayed areas also had long-term effects on the food supply of the country as a whole.
Around 3 million Vietnamese were exposed to Agent Orange, many of whom died while many others learned of the consequences only once they had children.
Most of these victims are living in difficulties with serious illnesses. Many families have four or five disabled children. Much worse, there are families in which all the children were born with deformities. These children are suffering from polio and mental retardation (27 percent); visual and hearing impairment (27 percent), immobility (19 percent) and other deformities. The number of disabled children who cannot take care of themselves accounts for 40.8 percent of the total.