Agent Orange

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Jan 16, 2006
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I was in Vietnam in 1966-67 and didn’t worry about agent orange as I was on the coast southeast of Saigon. No spraying in my area. Until an interview with the VA explained the heaviest spraying was northwest of Saigon and every river creek etc. in that area flows right to the coast where I was. I swam in bathed in and drank that water. No issues yet from the listed ailments, but I’m close to “diabetic now”…watching my diet!
 
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I still haven’t come to terms with some of these things. I just don’t know whether to be scared of young people potentially being ignorant, be glad that history taught in school isn’t all negative, or perhaps something else.

It was about 15 years ago that I first ran into a young person who wasn’t sure what someone was referring to when they said “September 11”. Once reminded, the young person said something along the lines of, “oh yeah, I remember that. There was a plane crash that day and adults were upset about it for a long time. That’s all I remember.” I was shocked and dumbfounded. That made me feel old and at the same time worried about the newer generation.

Within the last year or so that’s been surpassed by a young person admitting that they don’t have any idea what the significance of that day was.
 
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While my father was recuperating from a heart attack, he persuaded my mother (who normally avoided outdoor farm work) to help me apply 2,4,-D + 2,4, 5,-T mixture (aka, Agent Orange) on trees that were encroaching into fields. Many years later, she developed chronic lymphocytic leukemia---as did too many road workers and soldiers who were exposed.
Roundup seems responsible for some type cancers
Way more common chemical
 

Jackson_Slugger

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There are a lot of stuff not taught in school. Sometimes you have to dig things up yourself to learn these kinds of things.

Yeah well she apparently has a chemistry degree post graduate. If someone who does that for a living actually paid to go to a college and they never had any exposure to the Agent Orange stuff it's just criminal! I'm guessing they don't mention Zyklon B either as they want nice little soulless lab rats that make whatever they're told...
 
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I'm a chemical engineer in my 30's and I can say for certain 'agent orange' never came up in my grade school, high school, or university science curriculum.

I've been aware of its existence since I was a kid (at least in my teens), though I could not say where I first heard of it. Maybe from a movie. Maybe it was mentioned in my US history class at some point, but I doubt it. That was super focused on the 1800's.

That being said, would you all complaining of 'kids being ignorant' know details about phosgene if it were mentioned in causal conversation? And before I get "Yes I know all about phosgene!" comments; I don't care. It is an illustrative rhetorical question pointing out that specific technical details in history often don't get preserved even if there is a valid lesson to be learned from it.
 
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My daughter (30) was telling me about the horrible poison ivy problem she has at the house that she just bought. I was kidding around that she needs some agent orange. And she replied what's that, never heard of it.

She's working as a chemist. At what age do people not learn about agent orange? Is this something that is not taught? She dropped out of high school in 10th grade, got her GED, and studied chemistry for her BS degree.
True story, my wife's nephew didn't know about the Holocaust and had to Google/wikipedia it after he graduated HS. They were at a family holiday and someone said something about it and he asked what it was.

😟😐
 
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I'm a chemistry professor(masters in Chemistry) and I only remember one classroom discussion of it. That was in an environmental chemistry course I took as an undergrad and as a broader discussion of compounds used or that had been used on vegetation. BTW, the professor teaching that course(who I still stay in touch with) was in the army on the tail end of Vietnam but never went overseas.
 
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Now that I think about it, I don't think I heard of it in school. I think I'd heard of it either through some trivia question or some reference. My parents had to tell me what it was. My history classes in high school conveniently had us learning all about WWI and WW2 but sort of sidestepped the war in Vietnam. I can't imagine why.
 
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The problem is that Agent Orange was used by the tanker full during Vietnam, way more than was needed to defoliate the land areas.
 

Pew

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31 here, learned it in Highschool but it was not the first time I've heard it as my dad made me study a lot when I was younger. I wouldn't be surprised if the same folks that approved it are the same folks that turn their backs on the asbestos lined barracks and non-pottable water.
 
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Nick1994

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I'm 27, was not taught about it in school that I remember. But I know about it because my step-grandpa was exposed in Vietnam.
 
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I know people that were/ are effected by it. I was not told anything about it in school. Class of 87.
Class of 87 here too. We weren’t taught about it in school either. First time I ever heard “agent orange” was my friend who was into a punk band called Agent Orange in the early 80s.
 
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Actually the stuff had been in use long before Vietnam. The railroads used it to keep the track sides clear.

The usage of it in Vietnam was beyond any scope imaginable. That amount of any chemicals will have severe effects on everything.
 
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