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Agent White is the code name for a powerful herbicide and defoliant used by the U.S. military in its Herbicidal warfare program during the Vietnam War. The name comes from the white stripe painted on the barrels to identify the contents. It was one of the so-called "rainbow herbicides" that included the more infamous Agent Orange.

Agent White is a 4:1 mixture of 2,4-D and Picloram (also known as Tordon 101). Unlike the more infamous Agent Orange, Agent White did not contain dioxin, which was a contaminant in the defoliants that included 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T). However, it appears the Picloram was contaminated with hexachlorobenzene (HCB) and nitrosamines, both known carcinogens. Agent White was a proprietary product of the Dow Chemical Company. Around 1985, Dow Chemical was forced to re-certify Picloram after having greatly reduced the amounts of both contaminants.

Agent White was often used when Agent Orange was not available, including for several months after the use of Agent Orange was halted in April 1970. Approximately (Bad rounding hereScript error m3) of Agent White was used in Vietnam between 1966 and 1971.[1] In addition the US Military tested Agent White, Tordon 101 and Picloram in varying concentrations at test sites in the US and Puerto Rico in the 1960s.[2]

ReferencesEdit

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  1. Stellman, Jeanne et al. The extent and patterns of usage of Agent Orange and other herbicides in Vietnam. Nature. Vol 422. pg 681
  2. Agent Orange: Herbicide Tests and Storage in the U.S. Veterans Administration Website Retrieved 2010-06-14

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