This map is a
representation of herbicide spray missions in Vietnam.
TheOrange areas represent
concentrated spraying areas.
This map only represents fixed-wing aircraft spraying, and does not
include helicopter spraying of perimeters, or other spray methods.
The III Corps area received the heaviest concentrations of spraying,
followed by I Corps, II Corps and IV Corps. Agent Orange was the code name
for a herbicide developed for the
military, primarily for use in tropical climates.
Although the genesis of the product goes back to the 1940's,
serious testing for military applications did not begin until the early
The purpose of the product was to deny an enemy cover and
concealment in dense terrain by defoliating trees and shrubbery
where the enemy could hide. The product "Agent Orange"
(a code name for the orange band that was used to mark the drums
it was stored in, was principally effective against broad-leaf foliage,
such as the dense jungle-like terrain found in Southeast Asia.
The product was tested in Vietnam in the early 1960's, and brought
into ever widening use during the height of the war (1967-68),
though it's use was diminished and eventually discontinued in 1971. Agent Orangewas
a 50-50 mix of two chemicals, known conventionally
as 2,4,D and 2,4,5,T. The combined product was mixed with kerosene or
diesel fuel and dispersed by aircraft, vehicle, and hand spraying.
An estimated 19 million gallons ofAgent
Orange were used in
South Vietnam during the war.
The earliest health concerns aboutAgent
Orange were about the
product's contamination with TCDD, or dioxin. TCDD is one of a family
some found in nature, and are cousins of the dibenzofurans
and pcb's. The TCDD found inAgent
Orangeis harmful to man.
In laboratory tests on animals, TCDD has caused a wide variety of diseases,
many of them fatal. TCDD is not found in nature, but rather is a man-made
and always unwanted byproduct of the chemical manufacturing process.
The Agent Orangeused in Vietnam was later found to be extremely
contaminated with TCDD