Event series to mark 50th anniversary of Agent Orange crimes

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A series of exhibitions and events on Agent Orange are being held in southern cities to mark the 50th year of dioxin poisoning in Vietnam.


Opened on August 2, a photo exhibition on dioxin -- the lethal ingredient in Agent Orange -- in Vietnam is on display simultaneously at Ho Chi Minh City's Lam Son Park, Chi Lang Park, April 30 Park, the War Remnants Museum, and the Youth Cultural House and other public places.


The event, featuring 90 photographs of Vietnamese dioxin victims, will run until August 15.


In addition, the War Remnants Museum is also displaying for the first time documentary photos by Japanese photographer Nishimuka Yoichi and other documents regarding the chemical sprayed by U.S. forces in South Vietnam from 1961 to 1971.


The city is also holding several thematic exhibits, seminars, and fundraising campaigns, featuring the Vietnamese victims' lives and efforts to overcome their diseases caused by the poison.


In the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho, an exhibition entitled "Vietnam's Dioxin Disaster", is taking place at the Military Zone 9 Museum.


The event, co-hosted by the city's Association of Dioxin victims and the museum, features 200 items, including photos and scientific documents reflecting the unbearable pain suffered by the victims of the deadly chemical weapon. The exhibit also features the years of support local communities have given to victims.


According to a research published by Columbia University (New York, New York) Prof. JM Stellman in Nature magazine, 80 million liters of toxic chemicals, of which 61 percent was Agent Orange -- containing 366 kg of dioxin -- were sprayed by U.S. forces in South Vietnam from 1961 to 1971. The poisoning was unprecedented in human history.


As a result, 4.8 million people were exposed to toxic chemicals, including first, second, and third generation victims born with dioxin-related maladies.


Hundreds of thousands of victims have died and similar numbers are still struggling with deformities and birth defects caused by Agent Orange.


Even people living in areas contaminated with the toxic chemicals half a century ago are showing the effects of dioxin. 


More than three million hectares of forest in Vietnam were also devastated by the poison.


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