July 25, 2011

Victims of Agent Orange Relief Act of 2011

Dear Colleague:

From 1961 to 1971, approximately 19 million gallons of fifteen different herbicides, including 13 million gallons of Agent Orange, were sprayed over the southern region of Vietnam.  Many, including Agent Orange were based with the toxic contaminant, known as dioxin.

It is estimated that between 2.1 million and 4.8 million Vietnamese people were present during the spraying of Agent Orange and other herbicides and many more were or continue to be exposed through contact with the environment and food that was contaminated, or as offspring of those exposed who now suffer from illnesses and deformities.

Today there are still dozens of environmental hot spots in Vietnam which contaminate the food, soil, sediment and wildlife and continue to expose Vietnamese to dioxin.

Agent Orange exposure continues to negatively affect the lives of men and women in Vietnam and in the United States.  Many victims’ lives are cut short and others live with disease, disabilities and pain, often untreated or unrecognized.

Therefore, Congress resolves to address and remediate the ongoing problems and concerns that arose or will arise from the use of these deadly Agents during the Vietnam War in both the United States and in Vietnam.

I strongly urge my colleagues to support this legislation.

Ranking Democratic Member