Paris conference on effects of Agent Orange

11th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 11 (AFP) - International experts and officials on Friday opened a two-day conference here to discuss the health effects of the use of Agent Orange by the US military during the Vietnam War.

PARIS, March 11 (AFP) - International experts and officials on Friday opened a two-day conference here to discuss the health effects of the use of Agent Orange by the US military during the Vietnam War.

Between 1961 and 1971, the US army spread more than 100,000 tons of toxic chemicals, "constituting the greatest chemical warfare ever known to mankind," the general secretary of the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange (VAVA), Tran Xuan Thu, said in an opening address.

Tran told the conference that a total of 80 million litres of 20 different chemicals were dropped. He put the number of people directly exposed at "between 2.1 and 4.8 million".

Explaining that Vietnamese authorities had analysed more than 1,000 soil samples, Tran said the dioxin concentrations "reached the highest level in the world".

Dioxin levels have since dropped significantly, but Tran warned that its half-life was "up to more than 20 years" and that it could penetrate the ground to a depth of up to two metres (6.5 feet).

Participants were expected to hear a summary of epidemiological studies conducted on affected populations in Vietnam during the conference, which was taking place at the French Senate.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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