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Efforts made to shake off Agent Orange hangover

Update: December, 03/2012 - 10:40

HA NOI (VNS) — Dioxin analytical capacity was the topic of the day at a seminar held by the Viet Nam Environment Administration (VEA) under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in Ha Noi last Friday.

A number of laboratories in Viet Nam have been upgraded to serve research into the consequences of Agent Orange/dioxin in Viet Nam, including the facility at the Viet Nam-Russia Tropical Centre, and the Analytical Centre in Ho Chi Minh City.

Deputy Director of VEA Le Ke Son said although Viet Nam has made a number of achievements in researching and analysing dioxin pollution, the activities have faced obstacles, including the shortage of personnel.

He called for assistance from the US Government in terms of equipment and personnel training in the field, so that Viet Nam can achieve the goal of solving basic problems related to dioxin pollution in Viet Nam by 2015.

During the 10 years from 1961, the US Army sprayed more than 18.2 million gallons of Agent Orange containing dioxin onto more than 10 percent of land in southern Viet Nam, destroying millions of hectares of forest and agricultural land, as well as severely impacting the health of many generations of Vietnamese people.

It is estimated that more than 4.8 million Vietnamese were exposed to Agent Orange/dioxin, most of whom lived along the Truong Son supply route and border area with Cambodia . Many of the victims have died, while millions of their descendants still live with diseases and poverty due to the effects of Agent Orange. — VNS

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