rain
Wednesday November 14th, 2018 9:14PM

Vietnam, US complete cleanup of toxic chemical from airport

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Vietnam and the United States have finished the cleanup of dioxin contamination at Danang airport caused by the transport and storage of the herbicide Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.

The 30 hectares (74 acres) of land cleansed of the toxic chemical were handed over to Vietnam at a ceremony Wednesday where Vice Defense Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh praised the U.S. government's involvement in the cleanup.

"It is proof that we are opening a future of good cooperation between the governments of Vietnam and the United States," Vinh said. "Today marks the day that Danang airport is no longer known as a dioxin hotspot, the day that Danang people can be assured that their health will not be destroyed by chemicals left over from the war."

Large amounts of Agent Orange, which contains dioxin, were stored at Danang airport during the war and sprayed by U.S. forces to defoliate the countryside and deny communist fighters jungle cover. Vietnamese still suffer from the effects of the spraying.

U.S. Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink called the joint cleanup a significant milestone in the expanding partnership between the two countries.

"This project truly is a hallmark of our countries' shared vision to be honest about the past, deal responsibly with remaining legacy issues and turn a point of contention into one of collaboration," he said.

Kritenbrink said working together on the issues of the past "builds strategic trust and enables us to further strengthen our forward-looking partnership that advances shared interests and strong people-to-people ties."

Between 1962 and 1971, the U.S. military sprayed roughly 11 million gallons of Agent Orange across large swaths of southern Vietnam. Dioxin stays in the soil and in the sediment at the bottom of lakes and rivers for generations. It can enter the food supply through the fat of fish and other animals.

Vietnam says as many as 4 million of its citizens were exposed to the herbicide and as many as 3 million have suffered illnesses caused by it — including the children of people who were exposed during the war.

The U.S. government says the actual number of people affected is much lower and that Vietnamese are too quick to blame Agent Orange for birth defects that can be caused by malnutrition or other factors.

Last month, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis visited Bien Hoa air base north of Ho Chi Minh City, the former Saigon, another dioxin hotspot.

The U.S. Agency for International Development will soon begin a soil restoration project at the base that is estimated to take several years and cost $390 million.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Health, AP World News
© Copyright 2018 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
EU center-right plots strategy ahead of key election
Center-right leaders and senior politicians from across Europe are plotting their strategy to hold power the next EU elections, and must decide whether Hungary's stridently nationalist ruling party should remain part of their political family
7:40AM ( 13 minutes ago )
Democrats seize House control, but Trump's GOP holds Senate
Democrats win House, but GOP retains Senate control
7:39AM ( 15 minutes ago )
Vietnam, US complete cleanup of toxic chemical from airport
Vietnam and the United States have finished cleaning up dioxin contamination at Danang airport caused by the transport and storage of the herbicide Agent Orange during the Vietnam War
7:39AM ( 15 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Grenade-shaped belt buckle halts trains in Madrid, Barcelona
A hand grenade-shaped belt buckle in the suitcase of a train passenger triggered major disruptions Wednesday on rail services in Spain's two main cities, prompting station evacuations before police declared the incident a false alarm
6:13AM ( 1 hour ago )
Facebook blocks more accounts as it fights US vote meddling
Facebook says it blocked more accounts during the U.S. midterm elections, in addition to the 115 it shut down earlier this week, due to suspected connections to foreign efforts to interfere in the vote.
6:12AM ( 1 hour ago )
Madagascar voters go to the polls to choose a president
Voting started Wednesday in Madagascar where nearly 10 million are casting their ballots to elect a president with hopes that a new leader will take this Indian Ocean island nation out of chronic poverty and corruption
6:03AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP World News
EU center-right plots strategy ahead of key election
Center-right leaders and senior politicians from across Europe are plotting their strategy to hold power the next EU elections, and must decide whether Hungary's stridently nationalist ruling party should remain part of their political family
7:40AM ( 14 minutes ago )
Democrats seize House control, but Trump's GOP holds Senate
Democrats win House, but GOP retains Senate control
7:39AM ( 15 minutes ago )
Trump upbeat despite House loss, will hold news conference
With the loss of the Republican majority in the House, President Donald Trump is facing the prospect of endless House investigations and fresh questions about the resilience of his unorthodox political coalition
7:35AM ( 19 minutes ago )
Despite House loss, Trump still sees midterms success
President Donald Trump is distancing himself from the Republican loss of the House
7:20AM ( 34 minutes ago )
Girl Scouts sue Boy Scouts over program's name change
The Girl Scouts of the United States of America has filed a lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America for dropping the word "boy" from its flagship program in an effort to attract girls
7:10AM ( 44 minutes ago )