U.S. warplanes dumped about 18 million gallons of the poisonous dioxin during the Vietnam War. The Vietnamese government says this has left more than three million people disabled.Earlier this week a delegation of Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange traveled to New York where they are suing over three dozen chemical companies for manufacturing the toxin. The list of companies being sued include Dow Chemical and Monsanto. Two of the victims visited our Firehouse studio and described how Agent Orange has affected their lives. Nguyen Thi Hong was exposed to Agent Orange in 1964. She gave birth prematurely to three underweight children one of whom had a congenital heart defect. She was found to have cancer of the left breast. In addition, she also has cerebral anemia, bone metastasis, cirrhosis, gallstones and bladder-stones, varicose limbs, limb-skin ulcer, weak legs and limited range of movement. Nguyen Muoi wasn't born until after the war ended but has also been affected by Agent Orange. His father was a farmer who served as a cook in Aluoi Valley a ‘hot spot’ where Agent Orange was stored. I asked them to describe how the dioxin has affected them.
- Nguyen Muoi and Nguyen Thi Hong. As Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange, they are both plaintiffs in a lawsuit against over three dozen U.S. chemical companies.
- Merle Ratner and Jonathan Moore. Attorneys for the Agent Orange Victims. Ratner is co-coordinator of the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief & Responsibility Campaign.