2009 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lennysiegel@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 17 Dec 2009 16:01:04 -0800 (PST)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] GLOBAL, HEALTH: Agent Orange more dangerous than "had to be"
Agent Orange's lethal legacy: Defoliants more dangerous than they had to be
Papers show firms didn't act on data to reduce toxicity

By Jason Grotto and Tim Jones
Chicago Tribune
December 17, 2009

Part 5 of a Tribune investigation unearths documents showing that decisions by the U.S. military and chemical companies that manufactured the defoliants used in Vietnam made the spraying more dangerous than it had to be.

As the U.S. military aggressively ratcheted up its spraying of Agent Orange over South Vietnam in 1965, the government and the chemical companies that produced the defoliant knew it posed health risks to soldiers and others who were exposed.

That year, a Dow Chemical Company memo called a contaminant in Agent Orange "one of the most toxic materials known causing not only skin lesions, but also liver damage."

Yet despite the mounting evidence of the chemical's health threat, the risks of exposure were downplayed, a Tribune review of court documents and records from the National Archives has found. The spraying campaign would continue for six more years.


For the entire article, see


Lenny Siegel
Executive Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
a project of the Pacific Studies Center
278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918

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