Agent Orange Talking Paper #1 by Gary D. Moore

Agent Orange (In Error)

Agent Orange is the name to which all herbicides are referred (technically) in error during the Vietnam War. The name, Agent Orange, has become synonymous for, and collective of, all herbicides used during the Vietnam War. Agent Orange, is also the term for the harmful effects of herbicides (again, in error). People do not have Agent Orange disease, rather, a disease, or cancer caused directly or indirectly from exposure to a herbicide containing dioxin. The name, Agent Orange, was derived from the orange stripe on drums in which the herbicide was stored.

Agent Orange (Scientifically)

Agent Orange was one of several defoliants (herbicides) containing trace amounts of a toxic contaminant, TCDD (dioxin). Defoliants were used during the Vietnam War to defoliate vast areas of jungle growth. The real, Agent Orange, was a 1:1 mixture of the n-butyl esters of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T). A byproduct (contaminant) of the manufacturing process for 2,4,5-T (used in all the agents during the Vietnam War) is 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-para-dioxin (TCDD). TCDD is commonly referred to as dioxin.

This chart contains a list of the herbicides (agents) used during the Vietnam War, and the amount of TCDD (dioxin) contamination present in the agents (per the USAF Herb Tapes):

DescriptionTCDD (Dioxin) Amounts
Agent Orange1.77 to 40 ppm
Agent Blue (Purple)32.8 to 45 ppm
Agent Red (Pink)65.6 ppm
Agent White (Green)65.6 ppm
Silvex1 to 70 ppm
2,4,5-T (Current)0.1 ppm or less

Vietnam and Agent Orange Facts Brief History of Agent Orange Terms

Half Life. The length of time required for half a quantity of drug, or other substance residing in a living organism to be metabolized, or eliminated by normal biological processes. It is also called biological half-life. The half-life of dioxin is 8.7 years in humans (as determined by the Ranch Hand (follow-up) studies).

PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (Dysfunction). A psychological condition that occurs after a trauma (stressful trauma situation, e.g., war, accident, rape, robbery, etc.). PTSD is characterized by anxiety, depression, guilt, sorrow (or grief), a sense of shame, death anxiety, panic, low self-esteem, rage, and/or any combination of these. Treatment varies with the severity, and willingness of the person to seek help.

Sarcoma. A malignant tumor arising from connective tissues. Soft Tissue Sarcomas are tumors in muscles, fat, fibrous tissue, and vessels serving these tissues as well as the peripheral nervous system.

TCDD Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (also 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-para-dioxin), commonly known as dioxin. TCDD is in reality a family of dioxins that contain four (4) chlorine atoms each. Therefore, TCDD is classified as a chlorinated organic chemical. TCDD (dioxin) is, perhaps, the most detrimental and damaging chemical ever produced. It's effects will be with us for several generations.

More terminology found at: Agent Orange Terms


Agent Orange Talking Paper #1 Download PDF Document

Agent Orange Talking Paper #1 Download Word Document

Gary D. Moore, (The Last) Chairman
Michigan Agent Orange Commission
5161 Howard Road
Smiths Creek, MI 48074-2023
e-mail: ao@gmasw.com

Update: February 19, 2013

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