DEVELOPMENT OF IMPACT MITIGATION STRATEGIES RELATED TO THE USE OF AGENT ORANGE HERBICIDE IN 
THE ALUOI VALLEY, VIET NAM

VOLUME 1 and VOLUME 2

April 2000

 

Hatfield Consultants Ltd.
201 - 1571 Bellevue Avenue 
West Vancouver, B.C. 
Canada 
V7V 1A6 
Tel: (604) 926.3261 
Fax: (604) 926.5389 
Email: hcl@hatfieldgroup.com
Web Site: www.hatfieldgroup.com

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National Committee For Investigation of the Consequences of the Chemicals Used During the Viet Nam War (10-80 Committee)
Tôn Thãt Tùng Street 
Dong Da 
Ha Noi 
Viet Nam 
Tel: 84.48.522.479 
Fax: 84.48.523.514 
 

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OVERVIEW

During the Viet Nam war, over 72 million litres of herbicide was applied over southern Viet Nam to deprive northern Vietnamese forces of protective forest cover and food.  Agent Orange accounted for approximately 60% of all herbicide used during the conflict.  Dioxin (specifically 2,3,7,8 Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin) was a contaminant in the Agent Orange mixture.

Hatfield Consultants Ltd. (HCL), through a collaborative effort with the Vietnamese government 10-80 Committee, assessed levels of dioxin residue in the environment of Aluoi Valley (soils, foods and human blood).  The Aluoi Valley was an integral portion of the Ho Chi Minh Trail through which supplies were transported from northern to southern Viet Nam during the conflict.  The report on the 1994-1997 investigation was published in October 1998.

In 1999, HCL and the 10-80 Committee undertook additional studies in the Aluoi Valley.  Soils from three former US Special Forces bases and other regions of the valley were collected for dioxin analyses.  Foods, human blood and human breast milk were also collected for analysis in Canada.  In addition, a nutrition and health survey was undertaken in the valley, in collaboration with the Department of Health and Epidemiology (University of British Columbia, Canada).

Results of the 1999 investigation confirmed our earlier studies that elevated levels of dioxin existed in valley soils and human food, with the highest level of contamination found in the vicinity of a former US Special Forces base at A So (formerly named A Shau).  Fish and duck tissues, human blood and human breast milk collected from the village nearest the former base had the highest levels of dioxin contamination, relative to other regions of the valley.  As a result of the contaminated food chain in the vicinity of the base, adults and children born after the war are continuing to ingest contaminated foods.

Health studies suggest that inhabitants of the village situated nearest the most highly contaminated former base experience a higher level of birth defects relative to villages studied in other areas of the valley.

Many other former US and south Vietnamese military installations throughout Viet Nam could serve as "dioxin reservoirs" that are continuing to contaminate local food chains, and humans living in the vicinity.

Mitigation strategies have been developed aimed at addressing environmental and human impacts in the Aluoi Valley; short-, medium-, and long-term recommendations are presented in this Hatfield/10-80 Committee report.

Further information on this project is available in PDF format:
Table of Contents


 
A copy of the full report is available from Hatfield Consultants Ltd.

TO ORDER THE REPORT