Veterans Benefits Information

...online guide to VA benefits

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Home Agent Orange About Agent Orange

About Agent Orange

E-mail Print PDF

Agent Orange is the name given to a blend of herbicides the U.S. military sprayed from 1962 to 1971 during Operation Ranch Hand in the Vietnam War to remove foliage that provided enemy cover.

The name “Agent Orange” came from the orange identifying stripe used on the 55-gallon drums in which it was stored.

Tactical herbicides also were used, tested, and stored in areas outside of Vietnam. 

Agent Orange Active Ingredients and Characteristics

The two active ingredients in the Agent Orange herbicide combination were equal amounts of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T), which contained traces of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD).





The dioxin TCDD was an unwanted byproduct of herbicide production. Dioxins are pollutants that are released into the environment by burning waste, diesel exhaust, chemical manufacturing, and other processes. TCDD is the most toxic of the dioxins, and is classified as a human carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Agent Orange dries quickly after spraying and breaks down within hours to days when exposed to sunlight (if not bound chemically to a biological surface such as soil, leaves and grass) and is no longer harmful.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 December 2011 14:03  

  • aim
  • bebo
  • blogger
  • Del.ici.ous
  • DiggIt
  • Facebook
  • friendfeed
  • Google Bookmarks
  • linkedin
  • Mixx
  • MySpace
  • netvibes
  • Newsvine
  • Google
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • tumblr
  • Twitter
  • wordpress
  • Yahoo
  • yahoobuzz

Did you know?

Military Funeral Honors ceremonies must be scheduled in advance.

The law requires that every eligible veteran receive a military funeral honors ceremony, which includes the folding and presentation of the United States flag and the playing of “taps,” upon the family’s request. This Department of Defense program calls for the funeral director to request military funeral honors on behalf of the veteran’s family.