Mixture of herbicides. It contains approximately equal amounts of esters of 2,4-D (2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid) and 2,4,5-T (2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid) and trace amounts of dioxin. About 13 million gallons were sprayed by U.S. military forces onto Vietnam's forests and crops during the Vietnam War, with the dual purpose of destroying cover for enemy movements and destroying food sources. Exposure to Agent Orange has been blamed for an abnormally high incidence of miscarriages, skin diseases, cancers, birth defects, and malformations among Vietnamese and of cancers and other disorders in U.S., Australian, and New Zealand servicemen and their families.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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