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Agent Orange

Possible Human Health Threat

Agent Orange has unquestionably been a disaster for the ecology of Vietnam. But evidence also suggests that the defoliant, and in particular the TCCD dioxin component, is a health threat to soldiers who were exposed to Agent Orange during their tour of duty in Vietnam. Tests using animals have identified TCCD as the cause of a wide variety of maladies. In the mid-1990s, the "Pointman" project was begun in New Jersey, which scientifically assessed select veterans in order to ascertain if their exposure to Agent Orange had damaged them. The project is ongoing. In the meantime, veterans organizations continue to lobby for financial compensation for the suffering they feel has been inflicted on some soldiers by Agent Orange.



Gough, M. Agent Orange: The Facts. New York: Perseus Books, 1986.

National Academy of Sciences. Veterans and Agent Orange: Health Effects of Herbicides Used in Vietnam. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1994.

Schuck, P.H.H. Agent Orange on Trial: Mass Toxic Disasters in the Courts. Boston: Harvard University Press, 1990.


Department of Vetrans Affairs. "Where Can I Get Information on Agent Orange?" (June 23, 2000) [cited October 25, 2002]. <www.VA.gov>.

Brian Hoyle


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Exposure dose

—The quantity of a chemical that an organism receives from the environment through inhalation, ingestion, and/or contact with the skin.


—The extent to which a substance is poisonous.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Adrenoceptor (adrenoreceptor; adrenergic receptor) to AmbientAgent Orange - Agent Orange Defoliation Damage, Reduction Of Animal Habitat, Possible Human Health Threat