12.17.2009

agent orange: a lethal legacy

This article is a couple of weeks old, but I wanted make sure people saw it... The Chicago Tribune recent ran an intense multi-part investigation on the long-lasting, harmful effects of the chemical defoliant Agent Orange, decades after the end of the Vietnam War: Agent Orange: A Lethal Legacy.

Both veterans and Vietnamese nationals who were exposed to Agent Orange and other dioxin-laced defoliants are still experiencing devastating health effects, while birth defects have brought the impact into a second generation. Yet the United States government has yet to make full amends, either in the U.S. or overseas.

It's one thing for those who were directly afflicted by Agent Orange -- both those who lived and served in Vietnam during the war now suffer health problems. But imagine the next generation born into this lethal legacy -- kids who weren't even alive during the war, but now suffer birth defects linked to defoliants. It's infuriating.

To report this series, the Tribune interviewed nearly two dozen civilians and former soldiers in Vietnam as well as researching thousands of pages of government documents and traveling to the homes of veterans in the U.S. Take a look at the story, along with video and photos, here.