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Herbicides: The Never Ending Battle Essay

3858 words - 15 pages

PAGE PAGE 1 Jacobson
Herbicides: The Never Ending BattleErik JacobsonU.S. History (H)Mr. TraceyApril 29th 2007Research Question: How did the use of herbicides during the Vietnam War affect American and Vietnamese Society at the time, and how has it impacted society today?Thesis: Despite the scientific knowledge of the effects, an extensive use of herbicides during the Vietnam War had a detrimental impact on society in Vietnam and America during the war, and continues to have a substantial impact today.Outline:Title: Herbicides: The Never Ending BattleThesis Paragraph: Give brief background of Vietnam War and thesisAn introduction to the use of herbicides during the Vietnam War; the politics behind decisions made, and the scientific research that was kept quiet.Talk about the use of herbicides, and name the different types used in the warAgents White, Purple, Green, Pink, Blue, and Dinoxol, Trinoxol, Bromacil, Diquat, Tandex, Monuron, Diuron, Arsenic and DalaponDioxins are used in the herbicides, which is the toxic chemical that makes the herbicides harmful.5 ppt can kill a mooseMen had up to 50 ppt in their systemsThe amount of herbicides shipped to Vietnam increased every year. (15,000 gallons - 55,000)Chemical companies held meetings to discuss the toxicity of the herbicides. Still, no information was leaked to the public.In 1965, the Dow Chemical Corporation executives held an extremely private meeting to discuss the negative effects of these herbicides.Three months later, a manager from Dow Chemical, named V.K. Rowe, sent a letter to another company official, informing him that dioxin is exceptionally toxic.By 1967, uncovered letters showed the military's understanding of side effects corresponding with the use of herbicidesAs American troops returned from War, symptoms of ailments due to Agent Orange became evident in both the veterans and their children.Among the most common were skin and liver diseases, as well as many types of cancer.Mental and cognitive ailments have also been associated with the use of Agent OrangeAnger OutburstsDepressionMood SwingsIn 1979 an agency named the Veterans Administration to investigate individual cases of infected veterans and provide compensation.iv. The VA investigated over 200,000 soldiersThe Vietnamese suffered both human casualties for multiple generations due to Agent Orange, but also received a crippling blow to their economy and environment.Farmers lost all their farms and crops, crippling the economy.This in turn caused hunger and food shortagesGrounds became soaked in dioxins, causing them to remain toxic for many years to come.The huge amount of forests that were destroyed caused many ecological problems in years to come.Erosion and landslidesUnnatural abundances of 'American' grass,The Vietnamese suffered huge amounts of casualties due to disorders and diseases caused by Agent OrangeAmong the most common are mutations among offspring of veterans or civilians who were exposed to Agent...

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