Chemical Warfare in the Vietnam Conflict

  1. The Chemical agents (What they are/contain)

        • Napalm

        • Agent Orange

        • Agent Blue

        • Agent Pink

        • Agent Green

        • Agent Purple

        • Agent White

  2. The use of the chemical weapons.

        • Napalm-a mixture of petrol and a chemical thickener which produces a tough sticky gel that attaches itself to the skin.   With white phosphorus it continues burning for a considerable amount of time.

        • Agent Orange- This cause plants to lose their leaves as they literally grow themselves to death.

        • Agent Blue-Arsenic compounds, like inorganic arsenic, are able to disrupt ATP production in both plants and animals. For plants, this can lead to, among other things, the interruption of water transport, resulting in desiccation and the loss of leaves. For people, multi-system organ failure and cancer are possible toxic outcomes.

        • Agent Pink, Purple, Green and Orange- Agents Purple, Pink, Green, and Orange were all contaminated with trace amounts of TCDD, a dioxin. Dioxins, more technically referred to as polychlorinated dibenzodioxins, are a group of incredibly toxic by-products associated with the production of chlorine-containing herbicides including 2,4,5-T. TCDD is suspected of being responsible for the deaths of millions of Vietnamese. They are capable of causing a number of different cancers, neuropathies, diabetes, and birth defects (e.g. spina bifida) in children born of those exposed.

        • Agent White-the picloram that was used was reportedly contaminated with hexachlorobenzene and nitrosamines, both of which can cause cancer. On its own, picloram is a mucous membrane irritant.

  3. The storage and disposal of the chemical agents

  4. The effects of the chemical weapons on plants, animals, and humans.

  5. The effects of the chemical weapons on the ecosystems as a whole.