Dioxin, a chemical compound in the defoliant Agent Orange, is now considered the most toxic ever created by man. For a decade, American planes sprayed 20 million gallons of it across Vietnam to obliterate jungle canopies, rice paddies, and dense forests concealing enemy forces. By the time that it was discovered that dioxin exposure is linked to birth defects, multiple cancers, and other severe conditions, the land was noxious. Millions of people, and from both sides of the conflict, were poisoned.
Decades after the spraying stopped a second, and now third generation of children are born with crippling, disfiguring diseases passed on from their parents who were exposed during the war. The Red Cross estimates that 3 million Vietnamese children and adults have suffered the effects of agent orange exposure.
David Guttenfelder @The Associated Press