During the Vietnam War, an extremely toxic herbicide, called Agent Orange, was used by the U.S. Military. Under “Operation Ranch Hand” (1961-1971), more than 20 million gallons of the defoliant was sprayed from airplanes and helicopters over forests and crops in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. The chemical spray was used to eliminate forest foliage to increase visibilty and to desimate crops in hopes of weakening food supplies. The actual herbicide is colorless and could not be seen when being deployed. The name Agent Orange originates from the orange stripe that identified the barrels the substance was shipped in. Agent Orange came in a range of strengths, the strongest was called “Super Orange.” Variations of the herbicide existed, each consisting of different chemical additives which impacted their toxicity. Those other products were named Agents Pink, Green, Purple, White and Blue.
Production of Agent Orange was finally halted in the early seventies after scientists learned of the devastating long-term impact that the dioxin traces were having on exposed individuals. To this day soldiers, civilians and their families continue to suffer the effects of this harmful chemical.