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   Agent Orange Still Wreaking Damage

HEALTH NEWS:

Agent Orange Still Wreaking Damage

Special to the Chronicle

A recent study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine established that Agent Orange sprayed over 30 years ago is still causing health problems among portions of the Vietnamese population. According to Dr. Arnold Schecter of the University of Texas School of Public Health, "Dioxin from Agent Orange...is getting into the Vietnamese people through highly contaminated foods." After extensive on-site research, Dr. Schecter found that Bien Hoa City, located 35 kilometers north of Ho Chi Minh City, is a hotbed of dioxin contamination.

High levels of TCDD, or dioxin contaminant, were found in many types of animals, including chickens and fish; the highest of these levels was found in ducks. These numbers, the researchers suggest, might explain why children born long after the conclusion of the Vietnam War still showed signs of elevated dioxin levels in the bloodstream when tested.

TCDD and its related toxins have been linked to cancer and other similarly serious illnesses.


The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM), founded in 1916, is an international medical society of 6,000 occupational physicians and other allied health professions.


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This story was published on August 15, 2003.
  
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