Agent Orange – The Synthesis of 2,4,5,-Trichlorophenate – #3

 

The tactical herbicide Agent Orange, which was used in South-east Asia by the United States Department of Defence during the Vietnam War, was made from equal parts of the n–butyl esters of 2,4,5-T and 2,4,-D. For almost half a century, controversy has surrounded its use, mainly because it contained a highly toxic dioxin impurity (TCDD). Despite this impurity being thoroughly investigated, there is still a lot of confusion by the public regarding how it was formed and why it took so long to be detected. To answer these questions, you have to have a basic understanding of the synthesis of one of the herbicides precursors – once you have that, you soon begin to realise that what you thought you knew about Agent Orange may be wrong.

About Myles Power (757 Articles)
Hello Internet! My name is Myles Power and I am a chemist from the North East of England, who loves to make videos trying to counter pseudoscience and debunk quackery in all of its various forms! From the hype around GMOs through to Atrazine turning the freakin’ frogs gay, I’ll try to cut through the nonsense that’s out there!

2 Comments on Agent Orange – The Synthesis of 2,4,5,-Trichlorophenate – #3

  1. So how much does Monsanto pay you to clean up their image? Or is this more like a portfolio piece to get get on the PR team over there?

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  2. I’m sorry for the above, that was mean, and presumptuous. Also anonymous, so cowardly… I hadn’t had my coffee yet and got upset as I have seen a skeptic (forget his name) use the argument about agent orange not being harmful as an indirect way of saying the the war itself was not that bad.

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