Wednesday, April 26, 2017

What Do Suburban Lawns and the Vietnam War Have in Common?

Dandelion Time via Lambert Strether of Naked Capitalism
"Answer: The herbicide 2,4-D.
You may be familiar with this herbicide as an active ingredient in “Weed ‘n Feed®”, “Weed B Gon MAX®”, Turf Builder® With Weed Control”, etc.. 
During the Vietnam War, it was an active ingredient in Agent Orange
On lawns it’s used to kill the dandelions, but NOT the grass. (Find out how it does this below). 
In the Vietnam War the U.S. military used it to defoliate the trees (so that they could more easily spot the Viet Cong).
You’re likely familiar with the term “Agent Orange” because of the controversy regarding the tragic health problems it caused to U. S. soldiers. (For current info re. this issue see here).
The serious health issues to both Americans and Vietnamese caused by Agent Orange are due to contaminants called dioxins produced during its chemical synthesis. (For more info on this see 2,4-D and dioxins and also here.)"

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