Vietnam military experts look for toxin in skin disease area

TN News

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Experts from Vietnam's Military Chemical Environment Institute have visited the central province of Quang Ngai to look for some chemicals suspected of causing a skin condition that has killed 19 people over the past year.

A report on Saigon Giai Phong Sunday said during their visit Friday and Saturday, the experts met with Pham Van Mai, head of a village in Ba To District, to question him about a "strange" substance he found five years ago and to see the place where he buried it.

The scientists also checked places where American soldiers were stationed during the Vietnam War to see if there were any toxins left there, and took soil and water samples for tests.

Since it broke out in the province's Ba To and Minh Long Districts last April, the disease, which was earlier suspected to be caused by plant protection chemicals, has affected 171 people.

It causes ulcers on hands and feet that look like severe burns and induce stiffness in the limbs. In critical cases, it can lead to liver and lung failure.

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