less than 1 minute read

Agent Orange

Agent Orange Defoliation Damage, Reduction Of Animal Habitat, Possible Human Health Threat

Agent Orange is a defoliant that kills plants and causes the leaves to fall off the dying plants. The name was a code devised by the United States military during the development of the chemical mixture. The name arose from the orange band that marked the containers storing the defoliant.

Agent Orange was an equal mixture of two chemicals; 2, 4–D (2,4, dichlorophenoxyl acetic acid) and 2, 4, 5–T (2, 4, 5-trichlorophenoxy acetic acid). Another compound designated TCDD (2, 3, 7, 8-tetra-chlorodibenzo-para-dioxin) is a by-product of the manufacturing process and remains as a contaminant of the Agent Orange mixture. It is this dioxin contaminant that has proven to be damaging to human health.

Agent Orange was devised in the 1940s, but became infamous during the 1960s in the Vietnam War. The dispersal of a massive amount of Agent Orange throughout the tropical jungles of Vietnam (an estimated 19 million gallons were dispersed) was intended to deprive the Viet Cong of jungle cover in which they hid.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Adrenoceptor (adrenoreceptor; adrenergic receptor) to Ambient