Spraying of Agent orange by US Army in Vietnam and its consequences

Spraying of Agent orange by US Army in Vietnam and its consequences

André Bouny
12th April 2006
Spraying of Agent orange by US Army in Vietnam and its consequences

Photo Copyright Alexis Duclos

• Historical context – Decision.
• Methods – Amounts – Composing – Equivalences.
• Stability – Food chain – Entering in the cell.
• Visible and invisible consequences – Diseases and photos.
• “Redress” – Scientific proof – American Constitution – Multinational companies – Proceedings

This succinct text enlightened with photos by Alexis Duclos, is the content of the conference by André Bouny for launching of International Support Committee in aid of Agent orange Vietnamese victims bringing an action in New York at the C entre d‘ A ccueil de la P resse E trangère (CAPE) House of Radio France , on Wednesday, the 9th of March at 2 pm .

1)Historical context – Decision

The Vietnam war (inappropriately so called, since Vietnam has known many wars) is, as a arms’viewpoint, the main war of the 20th century. This conflict between United States of America and north-Vietnamese communist Viêt Minh, supported by Soviet Union , becomes an exported war between the two planet’s greatest powers : USA willing stop communism in Asia whereas Soviet Union encourages it.

Viêt Nam will be sacrificed, in a frightful human slaughter, as a laboratory for a future war.

Between two and four times the bombs‘ tonnage of the whole second World War will be dumped there, that is to say the equivalent of 450 Hiroshima atomic bombs. The Vietnamese territory shows the marks of twenty millions important craters, bombs having fallen in the craters of previous bombs and so on. Explosive bombs of new generation, incendiary ones, bombs with blast effect, bombs at low pressure, bombs at fragmentation….Nearly half a million tons of devices would not yet have exploded. Those remainders already have killed between 100 000 and 200 000 people, especially children, since more half the population was at that time less than fifteen years old. In Cu-Chi – that means “Steel ground” in Vietnamese language – more than 10 tons of bombs per inhabitant fell.

The invisible and elusive Vietnamese fighters, move under the tropical forest. The records of American army acknowledge 8 millions “sorties” of helicopters, stuffed with napalm to drive out the enemy from straw-roofed shacks‘ villages. Without results.

USA are in a hurry. Their young people and the one of the whole world begin rising against that war. The moon had been promised American masses…in Vietnam , they will create it!


In 1961, J.F. KENNEDY lives in the White House, he decides the Ranch Hand operation, it’s the military code name for spraying Agent orange over Vietnam and bordering areas of Laos and Cambodia . Destroying the tropical forest on the earth surface as well as poisoning harvests to starve population and fighters are settled. Huge genocide, outrageous ecocide will remove for ever many land species.

2)Methods – Amounts – Composing – Equivalences

10% of spraying is carried out by hand, by land vehicle or by ship. 90% of spraying by airway, with the help of C123 airplanes and helicopters. Vietnamese people have nothing else to protect themselves soaking a tissue in urine and putting it on their nose and mouth.


To spray 74 000 000 litres of herbicides – other people write 84 000 000 litres – will need ten years.


Among those herbicides, there were Blue Agent containing cyanide, Green, White, Purple or Pink Agent then Agent orange, so called because of color strips on the barrels containing poison. The only Agent orange constitutes 60% volume of the herbicides sprayed in Vietnam .

Agent orange contains the tetrachlorodibenzo-para –dioxin : dioxin TCDD, said 2,3,7,8 because of its molecular composition.

Dioxin TCDD is the most powerful known poison – one million times more toxic than the most powerful natural poison – and also the most lasting one.

Dioxin are formed with 2 benzene nuclei, 2 oxygen molecules and 2 chlorine, fluorine or bromine molecules (four for the most toxic one).


That is to say 40 thousands millions times the mortal dose for one human being.

3)Stability – Food chain – Entering in the cell

Dioxin TCDD is measured in picogram, that is to say in millionth of millionth gram (10 -12 gram). This infinite smallness ensures it a great stability. In Vietnam , TCDD is in soil, in waters, in mud, in sediments and so proceeds in the food chain.


One finds TCDD in the food chain in great quantity in animal fats, meat, milk, eggs and fish.

Scientists created a unit called TEQ – toxic equivalent quantity – so as to fix a toxicity limit for food.

In France , the acceptable dose for one kilo of body weight/ day/ person is 1 to 4 picograms.

In USA , the acceptable dose is more rigorous, it is 0,0064 picograms, that is to say 160 times less than the French dose.

In Vietnam , that dose may reach 900 picograms/kilo of body weight/day.


The nucleus of a cell is protected by a “defence area” which has the part to prevent molecules without required structure entering the nucleus and then interfering with its genetic patrimony. But, in the bosom of the cellular cytoplasm (i.e. the whole of the cell’s components except nucleus) dioxin links on to a naturally present in every cell molecule, the aryl-hydrocarbon receptor and will penetrate the protections of cellular nucleus “passing oneself” as an hormone. It is that dioxin-receptor complex which will break up the hormonal messages of our endocrinous system (i.e. the whole of endocrinous glands with internal secretion throwing in blood the produced substance called hormone,) and will activate some areas of DNA, said “sensitive to dioxins” areas, and so induce toxic effect.

4)Invisible and visible effects – Diseases and photos
Vietnamese people practise the worship of the ancestors in a fervent manner. They wish an offspring able to perpetuate that worship. If it’s not that case, a great culpability sets up towards the forerunners. One understand why families with one, two, three children suffering serious handicaps conceived one fourth, one fifth, one sixth child and sometimes more… They consider a large number of births are not listed, children are “hidden”. We must understand the dreadful moral torture of the parents.

I wish to make it clear that, when TCDD dioxin does not succeed passing through the placenta of the future mother and that the child was born healthy, the mother poisons him through breastfeeding because the mother milk is the only discharging way for dioxin. Again, imagine the psychological devastation of mothers.

30 children‘ PHOTOS.

Even people expected to be in good health are suffering often:

Dermatosis (chloracne, skin disease distinguished by comados, cysts and papules; hyperkeratosis, hyperpigmentation).
Hepatic disorders (blood increase of transaminases)
Blood increase of lipids‘ level
Cardiovascular disorders.
Disease of urogenital system
Neurological disorders (lack of libido, migraines, peripheral neuropathies, disease of sensory faculties)
Mental disorders (nervousness, insomnia, depersonalization, depression, suicide)
In Seveso, dioxin was not as toxic as the one sprayed over Vietnam . Unlike Vietnam , Italy can afford managing researches. Professor BERTAZZI and fellow workers ( University of Milan ) declare “We begin to discern strange long term effects!… A study reveals a complete inversion of the sex ratio. Even though in general population a ratio of 106 males to 100 females is found, in Seveso it is of 48 females to 26 males. Sign of a thorough change of hormonal metabolisms”. Nearly half the male sex disappeared.

Today, in Vietnam the third generation is coming on and sound in body and mind people still beget monstrous new-born children with, sometimes, genital organs in the middle of the face, because dioxin is in their genes.

5)“Redress” – Scientific proof – American constitution –
Multinational companies – Proceedings

The past, present and future victims will be millions.

The use of that indelible chemical mass destruction weapon by the American army requests “redress”, legal redress. When Bill CLINTON visited Vietnam in 1999, first visit for an American president since 1975, the Vietnamese leaders evoked the huge calamity of Agent orange. Madeleine ALBRIGHT “cemented” the conversation answering that needed scientific proofs. It is the way leaving Vietnam alone to face the problem. One test searching dioxin in blood costs between 3000 and 4000$. How could Vietnam , looking for development measures, afford such a budget?

But the Constitution of USA does not allow reversing against war acts perpetrated by American army, even if they are not “authorized” by the Convention of Geneva.

Moreover, the manufacturers of herbicides, who with full knowledge of the facts – as early as 1965 American laboratories drew up the consequences of dioxin on rats – and, for their largest fortune, supplied U.S. army. Among the 37 companies who manufactured poison, some are called MONSANTO, DOW CHEMICAL, UNIROYAL, DIAMOND, THOMPSON, HERCULES….

On the 31st of January 2004, four days before expire the 10 years of embargo’s lifting which would forbid thereby any appeal according American law, the Association of Vietnam Agent orange/dioxin victims and 5 victims as a personal measure lodge a complaint at the First Court of American Federal Justice whose building is in East Brooklyn, State of New York. On September 2004, 22 other victims add themselves to the list which risks being endless…

Under the pen of the Vietnamese lawyer Le Duc Tiet the complaint lodged by Constantine P. Kokkoris, advocate in New York , involves a large and complex action according Jack Weinstein, responsible magistrate of the proceedings. Large because there are many plaintiffs, many defendants and many facts taking place on a long period. There will be economical, financial and social implications. This action will be complex as much applied jurisdiction as theoretic jurisdiction. The proceedings of implicated persons in Agent orange will be a première in history of American justice and an action that has not legal precedent.

I will to add something : children of Vietnam are smiling as every child in the world but, in spite of authorities‘ efforts, forty years after the beginning of Agent orange spraying, those Vietnamese children die more often than not in misery and awful conditions.

I thank you.

By the same author

Agent Orange Vietnam: The effects of Agent Orange in Viet Nam and its consequences
Reactions & comments

9th June 2006
I say too , STOP USA ! But I think , Agent Orange as herbicid contains chlorphenoxyacetic acid(This is herbicid substance). Dioxin TCDD was not in Agent Ornage for herbicidal effects. It was wrong chemical-technological procces. This error causes that here is dioxin too.
e-mail : Proisl.Karel@seznam.cz

10th Jully 2006
tcdd in orange agent wasn`t a mistake it was premeditated genocide
Pham, Minh Duc
7th August 2006
I’m Vietnamese born after the war but my father is a veteran, I know the pain and sorrow my people are suffering. It will last forever. My dad is still remembering his tissue as in „Vietnamese people have nothing else to protect themselves soaking a tissue in urine and putting it on their nose and mouth“
Thank you sir for letting the world outthere to know ‚bout this poison,
With all due respect
e-mail : duc12k@gmx.de
William Glatz
4th April 2007
Was Agent Orange used at Cam Rhan Bay AB during the Years 1971-1972? I was assigned there and distinctly remember the perimeter vegetation Bay side always dead while ten yards off the perimeter lush vegetation grew. I sat in bunkers next to this dead vegetation, could I have been effected by Agent Orange?
e-mail : whiskeybill50@cox.net

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