Clean-up of Toxins after US Dumped Agent Orange on Vietnam during War
   2013-04-25 02:35:23    Agencies      Web Editor: Jiang Aitao

A Vietnamese worker jumps from a mound of construction material at the site of a former American airbase in Danang, Vietnam on Wednesday, April 24, 2013. The U.S. government is paying for a cleanup at the airbase, which was used during the Vietnam War to store Agent Orange defoliant since linked to illnesses and disabilities among Vietnamese. [Photo: Hau Dinh/Imagine China]

Fifty years after US warplanes first sprayed a chemical weapon, known as Agent Orange, on Vietnam's jungles to destroy enemy cover, the US is helping clean up one of the most contaminated sites - Danang airport.

The airport, which once served as one of America's major air-bases, has been referred to as a dioxin "hotspot" due to the high concentration of toxicity in the soil and sediment there.

During the Vietnam War (1962-71) the US military dumped an estimated 75 million litres of Agent Orange and other herbicides on about a quarter of former South Vietnam - decimating around 20234 square kilometres (5 million acres) of forest.

Dioxin has been linked to cancer, birth defects and other disabilities.

Part of the contaminated site consists of a dry field where US troops used to store and mix the defoliant before it was loaded onto planes.

The area also includes lakes and wetlands where dioxin has seeped into the soil and sediment over the decades.

The site is only separated from busy residential communities by a high concrete wall.

But now, by the side of the tarmac of Vietnam's third busiest airport, a square concrete structure has been built, measuring 70 metres (230 feet) by 100 metres (328 feet).

There, around 73 thousand cubic metres (2578 cubic feet) of contaminated soil and sediment will be placed for treatment, before being returned back to the airport grounds.

The "thermal desorption" treatment, which is being used in this 84 million US dollar remediation joint project, is said to be the most effective and scientifically proven method for destroying dioxin.

In the pile structure, excavated soil and sediment will be heated up to between 750 and 800 degrees Celsius (1382 and 1472 Fahrenheit).

At that temperature, dioxin will be broken down into harmless substances, primarily carbon dioxin and water.

It is expected that 95 per cent of the dioxin will be destroyed through the heating process while any vaporised dioxin will be vacuumed out and captured in a secondary treatment system.

This will ensure that no dioxin and other contaminants are released into the environment.

The project is expected to be completed by 2016.

1  2  
More Photos

Shaolin Kung Fu Masters Recruited as Special Policemen

Flight Attendants Taught Wing Chun to Prevent Terror Attacks

China's First Driverless Subway Train on Exhibition

Premier Li Meets British Queen

Man Stopped From Jumping Out Window by Fire Hose

A Traffic Light in Chongqing only Leaves Two Seconds for Green Light

Shandong Taichi School Popular With Foreigners

World Meat Congress Addresses Meat Food Safety

Sino-African Media Forum Opens in Beijing

6 Students Dress as "Gourd Brothers" for Graduation

Three in Tian'anmen Terror Attack Sentenced to Death

"Find China's Most Beautiful Seven Fairies" Contest Held in Anhui

Girl Travels Europe with Cardboard Cutout of Late Father

North Korean Leader Takes a Submarine Ride

Michael Schumacher 'Out of Coma'

Colombian President Reelected with Commitment to Peace

U.S. Marks 150th Anniversary of Arlington National Cemetery

ISIL Jihadists Execute Dozens of Captives

Insurgents Cut Off Fingers of Afghan Voters

Everyday Scenes Recreated with Keys

Participants Dressed in White Attend White Dinner

Thailand Expects Interim Gov't No Later Than September

PNA Employees Rush to Withdraw Wages from ATM in Gaza City

"Sewol" Captain, 3 Crew Members Stand Trial in S. Korea

• Musicians Keep Current with Traditional Influences

• Thousands Challenge Ice & Snow Magic Power at Emei Mountain

• Time to Birding in Luoyang Sui & Tang City Relics Botanic Garden

• Ice and Snow Hot Spring Festival at Emei Mountain

• Free Ski at Emei Mount

• Stone Elephant Lake Welcomes Travellers with Fascinating Flowers

• Lilies Bloom at the Stone Elephant Lake

• Fashion, gaming, and AI come together for night of lectures

• Tangshan Bay: Surf, Sand and Serenity

• A Review of Highlights of ITE Sichuan

         claims the copyright of all material and information produced originally by our staff. No person, organization and/or company shall reproduce, disseminate or broadcast the content in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of holds neither liability nor responsibility for materials attributed to any other source. Such information is provided as reportage and dissemination of information but does not necessarily reflect the opinion of or endorsement by CRI.

The Sound Stage
China Revealed
My Chinese Life
Photo Gallery
Learn Chinese
"In" Chinese
Chatting in Chinese
Pop Culture
Traditional Culture
Living Chinese
Chinese Studio
Chinese Class
Learn English
Special English
Pop Chart
Everyday English
Fabulous Snaps
CRI News  | Xinhua  | People's Daily Online   |  | China Daily  |  Global Times  | China Job  |  China Tibet Online  |  | eBeijing  | Beijing Today  | China-Eurasia Expo  | APEC Yiwu Conference  | Chinese Embassy in S.Africa  | Chinese Embassy in Australia  | Chinese Embassy in NZ