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VN, RoK scientists address AO effects

Update: September, 08/2015 - 14:00
Children in a family in Tien Lang District in the northern Hai Phong City have deformities and diseases as a direct result of the chemical's effects. – VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Thuy

HA NOI (VNS) — Vietnamese and Korean experts yesterday discussed in Ha Noi co-operative measures to tackle soil contaminated with Agent Orange/dioxin sprayed by the American army during the war in Viet Nam.

The conference was part of the co-operation between the Viet Nam Association for Conservation of Nature and Environment (VACNE) and the Biological Company (BJC) of the Republic of Korea (RoK) under a memorandum of understanding, signed last year, on a project to handle the repercussions of dioxins.

Speaking at the conference, Deputy Director of the Viet Nam Environment Administration Dr Mai Thanh Dung said Viet Nam was striving to handle the effects of dioxins in badly affected areas such as A Luoi District in the central Thua Thien-Hue Province.

At the event, scientists presented the results of their latest research on the issue, while exchanging viewpoints on microbiological measures to treat the toxic chemical and solutions for soil improvement for agriculture.

In the past two years, Viet Nam and the RoK have conducted research to tackle dioxin effects, integrated with improvement of the environment and the local livelihoods.

After the conference, the RoK scientists and the VACNE delegation collected soil samples from A Luoi District to test the microbiological treatment method.

From 1961 to 1971, American troops sprayed more than 80 million litres of herbicides — 44 million litres of which were AO, containing nearly 370kg of dioxin — over southern Viet Nam.

As a result, about 4.8 million Vietnamese were exposed to the toxic chemical. Many of the victims have died, while millions of their descendants are living with deformities and diseases as a direct result of the Agent Orange/dioxin effects. — VNS

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