Agent Orange is a herbicide and defoliant chemical, one of the "tactical use" Rainbow Herbicides. It is widely known for its use by the U.S. military as part of its herbicidal warfare program, Operation Ranch Hand, during the Vietnam War from 1961 to 1971. It is a mixture of equal parts of two herbicides, 2,4,5-T and 2,4-D. In addition to its damaging environmental effects, traces of dioxin (mainly TCDD, the most toxic of its type) found in the mixture have caused major health problems for many individuals who were exposed, and their offspring.
The government of Vietnam says that up to four million people in Vietnam were exposed to the defoliant, and as many as three million people have suffered illness because of Agent Orange, while the Red Cross of Vietnam estimates that up to one million people were disabled or have health problems as a result of exposure to Agent Orange.
How to Help
Veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam, or suffer illnesses and served in the Gulf War during military service may be eligible for a variety of VA benefits, including disability compensation for diseases/illnesses from these periods. Your dependents and survivors also may be eligible for benefits. For more information, call the Help Line at 800-749-8387 or send an email to the GW/AO Helpline.