Clean-Up Of Toxic Agent Orange In Viet Nam Just Beginning 2011

Stop Experimenting With Dangerous Chemicals: In New Zealand we all know soldiers who have died as a result of exposure to Dioxin/Agent Orange, whilst working in Viet Nam during the American war there. I know of two children, friends of my son’s, whose father died two years ago of Agent Orange causes: These boys also have severe health problems as a result of their father’s exposure to this deadly chemical, which affects the genetic structure of our make-up.

A Toxic Waste Clean-Up Company with connections to New Zealand has just won a contract for cleaning up areas of Viet Nam which are still contaminated by the Agent Orange’ poisons. It is outrageous, I think, that the Americans who spoilt Viet Nam with their war, and polluted it with Agent Orange/Dioxin, have not cleaned up the mess in all these years since the war.

A clean-up is only just beginning, it seems. I have not read this in the news yet – I found out this information via ‘the grape-vine’: A friend of mine is a carpenter, who has done work for the owner of this environmental clean-up company out Pukekohe way. The man who owns the clean-up company does a roaring trade cleaning up environmental toxins such as those generated by ocean oil drilling accidents, and any other chemical spillages. He lives in Hong Kong, has a life-style block at Pukekohe where there hangs an 1885 Claude Monet amongst other valuable paintings.

He is apparently excited to win the tender for the Viet Nam clean-up. I worry about the people who will be employed as the labourers in Viet Nam to physically do the clean-up: Probably the poor people of Viet Nam, is my guess. The areas contaminated with Agent Orange/Dioxin from the war will be dangerous to work in, and as hazardous to the health as radiation from Fukushima. Dioxin affects the genes, with the potential for an adult to conceive a deformed child even years after exposure to the chemical, if it does not kill you in the mean-time.

Viet Nam suffered vast contamination of Dioxin/Agent Orange at the hands of the American military during the war forty odd years ago. They sprayed masses of ‘Agent Orange’ all over the place, as a defoliant. A defoliant is a chemical which will kill off the vegetation. The vegetation was destroyed so that they could ‘see the enemy’, so they said. But the use of ‘Agent Orange’ – Dioxin aslo meant that agriculture was wiped out, and the soil rendered highly toxic because of the poisons which remain in the soil. This seems incredible, that Dioxin, which is the killer agent in Agent Orange, and also in 245T, which was widely used in New Zealand around the same period, and after, as the war in Viet Nam, has been left around in the soil in Viet Nam for almost 50 years. Dioxin is deadly stuff. It causes degenerative disease such as cancer, nervous diseases such as multiple sclerosis, parkinsons disease, arthritis, sclerosis of the liver, and birth defects.

Many children in Viet Nam will have already suffered birth defects and other debilitating conditions, as a consequence of the Dioxin/Agent Orange chemicals deposited by the Americans in the soil. Spina bifida is just one of the terrible conditions which babies can be born with, after their mothers or their fathers have been exposed to Dioxin in 245T, or Agent Orange, or other preparations.

We were told by our health authorities in New Zealand in the 1970’s that there was no evidence to prove that 245T was harmful, and so it still got poured onto our soils here. I have personal experience of being sprayed with 245T Dioxin, aerially, by helicoper, on our two acre block up in the Hokianga. That was in 1975. I will never forget it, because that was the same year my baby died – I had been carrying her when the spraying was done. We tried to prevent the spraying from happening, but no one would listen: “It is not harmful”, they said. “There is no proof that 245T (Dioxin – same stuff as Agent Orange) – is harmful to humans”. When I went to the doctor AFTER the spraying, ill as can be, he said the same thing – ‘No evidence that 245T is harmful to humans. You must be imagining it”, he said. Shortly after this incident which resulted in the death of my baby, a friend of mine who also lived in an agricultural community gave birth to a baby with spina bifida.

I knew in my heart that the 245T Dioxin would be bad for us, especially my baby. The right thing to do would have been to have left the area as soon as we heard that the spraying was to go ahead. Even abandoning the whole property and never ever going back would have been better than losing my child as a consequence of Dioxin poisoning. I commend the actions of the young expectant mother in Te Puke, Bay Of Plenty, NZ, who is about to leave her home because of the kiwifruit spraying which is about to begin. She has been told that the chemical being used is not harmful to humans – just as I was told that 245T Dioxin was not harmful to humans. This young mother is not taking any chances and is going to move house to avoid the spray. After my own experience, I would be doing the same thing – no use waiting to become another statistic, after which time it will be announced that this poison IS actually harming humans.

Do Not Wait While Chemicals Are Being Trialled In Public To See If They Are Safe: Too late if you or your baby or other children have suffered irreversible ill health. – Note: I am going to put up a few details on this story in the next post directly after this one.

It was several years afterward that the New Zealand health authorities banned 245T/Dioxin based poison. This was years after America and other countries in the world had banned it. Many people here in New Zealand have lost children, or suffered cancers and other long-standing illnesses because of 245T, or Dioxin poisoning. Many parts of our country will still be contaminated with 245T Dioxin. The area around New Plymouth, where they manufactured the stuff, is especially toxic.

I feel for all those people in Viet Nam who have suffered long-term ill health because of Dioxin exposure, and especially for all those poor children who have suffered birth defects. I also feel for all the service-men from New Zealand, America, and other places who fought in Viet Nam, and whose lives were wrecked because of ill health or death due to Dioxin exposure from the Agent Orange defoliant used there.


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