Vietnam: Agent Orange 40 Years Later

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Tran Thi Hoa, 47, points to a baby photograph of her 21-year-old son La Thanh Toan, who sits below it, at their home near Da Nang, Vietnam. The photograph was taken when Toan was 4-years old, and shows him as a normal child. But he and his brother Nghia, now 18, are third generation victims of dioxin exposure, the result of the U.S. military's use of Agent Orange and other herbicides during the Vietnam War more than 40 years ago. The brothers were born healthy, but began to suffer from muscular dystrophy and other problems as they grew older. They are now confined at home as their bodies and lives  waste away. The Vietnam Red Cross estimates that 3 million Vietnamese suffer from illnesses related to dioxin exposure, including at least 150,000 people born with severe birth defects since the end of the war. The U.S. government is paying to clean up dioxin-contaminated soil at the Da Nang airport, which served as a major U.S. base during the conflict. But the U.S. government still denies that dioxin is to blame for widespread health problems in Vietnam and has never provided any money specifically to help the country's Agent Orange victims. Jan. 5, 2013.