Agent Orange Blog

Agent Orange – Part Three – The Synthesis of 2,4,5,-Trichlorophenate

October 6, 2017 // 3 Comments

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 [...]

Agent Orange – Part Two Point Five – Corrections

August 27, 2017 // 1 Comment

I am currently in the middle of producing a series of videos documenting the history of Agent Orange, the herbicide used during the Vietnam war. I published my first video on the subject back in June, but originally started researching for the project at the beginning of 2017. Despite spending a considerable amount of time with my head in the books before I made my first video, I have recently found out that I have somehow managed to make two rather large and embarrassing mistakes in my first [...]

Agent Orange – Part Two – On the Origin of Agent Orange

June 18, 2017 // 1 Comment

The general consensus regarding the inception of Agent Orange, the infamous herbicide used during the Vietnam War, is that its origins lay in a laboratory somewhere back in the mid-twentieth century. However, I would argue that its actual origins lie in the Victorian era. I believe its story starts in 1881 with an English naturalist and the publication of his book ‘The Power of Movement of Plants‘. Although you might not have heard of this before, I guarantee that the majority of [...]

Agent Orange – Part One – Introduction

June 13, 2017 // 2 Comments

In 1961, as part of America’s escalating war of counterinsurgency in Vietnam, President Kennedy approved a military plan to use defoliants and herbicide in South East Asia. Operation “Ranch Hand” was intended to kill foliage and destroy crops, depriving the Viet Cong of cover and supplies during the conflict. It is estimated that 76,000,000 litres of chemicals were sprayed between 1962 and 1971 over rural areas of South Vietnam and, later, in parts of Cambodia and Laos. The most commonly [...]