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The chemical Agent Orange, used in the Vietnam War, caused cancer in thousands of American service members.Around the time lawsuits were filed against the companies that produced it in 1978, a handful of soldiers were picked to bury several hundred barrels of the chemical in an unlined hole on a U.S. Army base in South Korea.
The soldiers tasked with the chore spoke out to an Arizona television station last week.
Three retired veterans claim to have buried 250, 55-gallon drums of Agent Orange at Camp Carroll in 1978.
A report released yesterday by John D. Johnson, commanding general of the 8th U.S. Army in Korea, confirmed the internment of a large number of herbicides, pesticides, and solvents at the camp in 1978, according to JoongAng Daily.
The report identified confirmed toxic dioxin was found in Camp Carroll soil. It did not, however, however, specify if any of the chemicals were Agent Orange, nor did it say what became of the containers after they were dug up in 1979 and 1980.
Two streams flow in front of the camp and five of the 53 wells at the camp are used for drinking water. The rest are used to irrigate local crops.
A defoliant, Agent Orange, was widely used in Vietnam between 1961 and 1971 as part of a de-foliage and crop killing campaign. U.S. soldiers termed it Agent Orange for the orange stripe on the 55-gallon barrel in which it was stored. The chemical was found to have extremely high levels of the poison dioxin and is responsible for countless veteran cancer deaths and almost 1 million Vietnamese fatalities and birth defects.
A U.S.-Korea joint investigation is beginning this week.