DA NANG (VNS) — The central city's Information and Communications Department has denied reports in local newspapers that some local residents have been accidentally exposed to dioxin.
The stories created public concern after some newspapers said that all samples taken from 62 residents selected since 2006 tested positive for dioxin.
The residents were reported not to be on the recognised list of Agent Orange victims in the province, but were selected randomly from people living near Da Nang Airport.
The airport is a known hot-spot for dioxin because the Monsanto defoliant was stored there during the American War in Viet Nam.
Fears had risen that the real number of AO victims and dioxin affected people was much larger than the 5,000 registered.
Authorities have now admitted that some incorrect information had been released during the examination of residents for traces of dioxin.
However, they said dioxin contaminated areas at the airport had now been isolated and remedial work was being carried out.
That's why further checks are being made on the health of local people suspected of being infected with dioxin and to detoxify those affected.
The Ministry of National Defence and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) launched a US$43 million project in August to clean up an estimated 67,000 cubic metres of contaminated soils and sediments at Da Nang Airport area by 2016. — VNS