The International Scientific Conference on “The assessments of the effects of Agent Orange/Dioxin used in the US during the war in Vietnam” was organized in Hanoi from 8th – 9th of August with the participation of scientists, management officers, social activists and victims from the US, Japan, and Canada.
The event is an important activity marking the 55th anniversary of the first air sortie to spray chemical poison in Vietnam (August 10, 1961 – August 10, 2016).
The Conference asserted that, during the war of aggression, from 1961 – 1971, under the name “defoliant” or “herbicide”, the US Army had sprayed about 80 million litres of defoliants, including Agent White, Agent Orange, Agent Rose, Agent Purple, Agent Blue… 61% of which was Agent Orange.
The defoliants contained about 366 kilograms of dioxin – the most toxic agent known to man – on an area of 3 million hectares, with above 17 times the concentration allowed in the US agricultural areas, with most all targets were sprayed twice and over 10 times in 11% of the sprayed areas.
|Conference on “The assessments of the effects of Agent Orange/Dioxin used in the US during the war in Vietnam”|
These toxic chemicals have destroyed the environments of the whole south Vietnamese area, the ecology was disrupted, incurred a greatest loss to the woods, the extinction of many rare animals and plants, the increase in population of rodents and wild grasses. The system of jungles was attacked by sea water, and the system of source forests of the major 28 rivers was heavily damaged, thus, natural disasters, floods, erosions, droughts… occur more and more frequently.
In the military bases that the US army used as storages, for mixing and destroying the defoliant, the dioxin concentration has always been thousands of times over the acceptable levels. The worst three among these bases which had been studied and the data were relatively well collected are Bien Hoa, Danang and Phu Cat airbases. The other bases with high concentration of toxic have always been a danger of exposing to the public.
Agent Orange/dioxin inflicts a wide variety of complex damages on all biological organs of the body. The US National Academy of Science released a list of 17 diseases, malformation and deformities from exposing to toxic chemicals/dioxin, among which there were 9 most serious and this list is still left open for additions.
In Vietnam, the abnormal illness from Agent Orange have transmitted to the third and the fourth generations. Vietnam has about 300,000 children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of those directly exposed. There was a total of 4.8 million Vietnamese exposed directly to the Agent Orange/dioxin spraying.
However, the number of people exposed is much bigger. According to the Association for Victims of Agent Orange/dioxin, there were about 3 millions victims of this toxic chemical. Hundreds of thousands of victims have already dead. The surviving ones are struggling with illnesses, some terminal and difficulties in their lives.
At the Conference, the scientists called on all countries, governments, scientists, experts, esp. from the US to invest more for research projects on specific damages caused by Agent Oranges/Dioxin on the environment and human health; the US States government and manufacturing companies must assume their responsibility.
“We state our support for the lawsuit of victim Tran To Nga – a Vietnamese French citizen, against 26 US manufactures, and at the same time, call on” - the scientists said.
They also call on all countries, governments, organizations and individuals to take action now to support victims of Agent Orange, particularly to support those in Vietnam, who have stayed long in the sprayed areas, are suffering a lot of most lethal diseases.