Agent Orange Cleanup Begins in Vietnam
US will join decontamination effort early next year
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 17, 2011 12:54 PM CDT
In this photo released by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Vietnamese mine sweepers in Danang, Vietnam, Friday, June 17, 2011.   (Richard Nyberg)

(Newser) – Vietnam today started the first phase of a joint plan with former enemy the United States to clean up environmental damage leftover from the chemical defoliant Agent Orange, a lasting legacy from the Vietnam War. Vietnam's Ministry of Defense will begin sweeping areas around the Danang airport, a former US military base in central Vietnam where the herbicide was stored, for unexploded ordnance. The US Agency for International Development will then assist in removing dioxin from soil and sediment at the site. It marks the first time the two sides will work together on the ground to clean up contamination.

The $32 million project will remove dioxin from 71 acres of land at the Danang site, where a 2009 study found chemical levels that were 300 to 400 times higher than international limits. Two other former US air bases also have been identified as hotspots where the defoliant was mixed, stored, and loaded onto planes during the war, allowing spilled dioxin to seep into the soil and water systems. (Click to read about the US vets who remember using Agent Orange.)

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Jun 21, 2011 7:16 AM CDT
And in twenty years our kids will be cleaning up junk in Iraq; And in 30 yrs junk in Afghanistan; And in forty years in Libya. In about 65yrs since WW2 America has bombed or invaded over 65 countries. And not one of them is better off - in any way - for the "brave assistance" thank you. NOT ONE. Think about it when next you're told it's ESSENTIAL ("in our national interest"; "for our safety"; for "homeland security") that you send suckers somewhere to go and die. You're being lied to and the real motive is profit for the war profiteers.
Jun 17, 2011 1:19 PM CDT
this cleanup should never have had to have taken place.