Our soldiers return from battles with many physical problems. It’s now been determined that Vietnam Vets suffer from TWICE the rate of prostate cancer as the average man and this has been traced to a defoliant used there called Agent Orange. This is of concern again because of the possible defoliant spraying of poppy fields in Afghanistan.

When researchers examined prostate cancer incidence and disease characteristics in those exposed to Agent Orange compared to those who were not exposed, they found that twice as many men exposed to Agent Orange were identified with prostate cancer. Agent Orange-exposed men were also diagnosed younger and their cancer was more aggressive. Agent Orange is a combination of two synthetic compounds known to be contaminated with the dioxin tetrachlorodibenzo-para-dioxin (TCDD) during the manufacturing process. Named for the color of the barrel in which it was stored, Agent Orange was one of many broad-leaf defoliants used in Vietnam to destroy enemy ground cover. It is estimated that more than 20 million gallons of the chemicals were used between 1962 and 1971. In 1997, the International Agency for Research on Cancer re-classified TCDD as a Group 1 carcinogen, a classification that includes arsenic, asbestos and gamma radiation.

Art credit: gimp-savvy.com

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