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The Rainbow Herbicides are a group of chemicals used by the United States military in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. Success with Project AGILE field tests with herbicides in South Vietnam in 1961 led to the formal herbicidal program Trail Dust (1961–71). Herbicidal warfare is a form of chemical warfare, in which the objective is to destroy the plant-based ecosystem of an agricultural food production, destroying plants which provide cover to an enemy, or both.
The Agents used in southeast Asia, their active ingredients and years used were as follow:
- Agent Pink: 60% - 40% n-butyl: isobutyl ester of 2,4,5-T used in 1961, 1965
- Agent Green: (n-butyl ester 2,4,5-T) unclear when used but believed to be at the same time as Pink
- Agent Purple: 50% n-butyl ester of 2,4-D, 30% n-butyl ester of 2,4,5-T, 20% isobutyl ester of 2,4,5-T used 1962–65
- Agent Blue: cacodylic acid and sodium cacodylate used from 1962–71 in powder and water solution
- Agent White (Tordon 101): 21.2% (acid weight basis) triisopropanolamine salts of 2,4-D and 5.7% picloram used 1966–71
- Agent Orange (Herbicide Orange, HO): 50% n-butyl ester 2,4-D and 50% n-butyl ester 2,4,5-T used 1965–70
- Agent Orange II: 50% butyl ester 2,4-D and 50% isooctyl ester 2,4,5-T used after 1968
- Super-Orange (SO), DOW Herbicide M-3393, Agent Orange mixed with picloram an ingredient of Agent White was known to be tested by representatives from Fort Detrick and Dow chemical in Texas, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii and later in Malaysia in a cooperative project with the International Rubber Research Institute. Picloram in Agent White and Super-Orange was contaminated by Hexachlorobenzene (HCB) a dioxin-like carcinogen.
In addition to testing and using the herbicides in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, the US military also tested the "Rainbow Herbicides" and many other chemical defoliants and herbicides in the US, Canada, Puerto Rico, Korea, India, Okinawa, and Thailand from the mid 1940s to the late 1960s.
See also Edit
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