Agent Orange: The Toxic Legacy of Polychlorinated Pesticides

Orange Witness

Directed by Andrew Nisker

Film Review

This film about the devastating health effects of the herbicides 2,4 D, 2,4,5-T and TCDD (aka dioxin) is narrated by survivors of toxic exposures in Vietnam, Oregon, Ontario and New Plymouth New Zealand.

It begins with footage of US aircraft blanketing the jungles of Vietnam with Agent Orange, a jungle defoliant consisting mainly of dioxin. In most cases, the latter is manufactured by combining 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T. Among US GIs and Vietnamese civilians, extensive Agent Orange exposure led to epidemic levels of cancer and neurodevelopmental disorders, as well as three generations of birth defects. There is no safe level of dioxin exposure.

The film notes that New Zealand was one of the first countries to use dioxin extensively to clear brush in the late 1940s. It was manufactured right here in New Plymouth by the Dow subsidiary Ivan Watkins Dow. Up until 1987, IWD contaminated the air, water and people of the Paratutu area with with TCDD emissions, producing massive numbers of birth defects, miscarriages, crib deaths, brain and spinal tumors, sarcomas, lymphomas, prostate and respiratory cancers and multiple sclerosis, as well as neurodevelopmental (mainly autism, Asperger’s disorder, mental retardation and ADHD) problems. See New Zealand’s Love Canal

Dioxin was also used extensively throughout the US and Canada to keep roads, railroads and high voltage power lines free of trees and weeds. During the 1960s, Black Flag sold TCDD over-the-counter in garden shops.

Although 2,4,5-T and TCDD have since been banned in most industrialized countries, most still allow 2,4-D use in farms and in gardens despite its link to cancer.


*Herbicides 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D)- and 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T)

Film can be viewed free on Beamafilm.

https://beamafilm-com.eznewplymouth.kotui.org.nz/watch/orange-witness

4 thoughts on “Agent Orange: The Toxic Legacy of Polychlorinated Pesticides

  1. I work for someone whose father got blasted with Orange in ‘Nam. Evidently, they say, it can cause schizophrenia and bipolarity in children of men exposed. The father recently died of cancer, he was too young. Brütâl stuff. Hard to fathom.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.