A Deadly Member of the Rainbow
In 1951, eight years after publishing the effects of TIBA, Galston was approached by researchers from Fort Detrick, the chemical warfare service center.
The researchers at Fort Detrick read Galston’s article and used his compound as a prototype for devising more potent and efficient herbicides to use during combat. 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T) were developed, and when mixed in a 1:1 ratio, they comprise Agent Orange.
An Air Force study concluded that no relationship existed between paternal dioxin exposure and birth defects.
However, Dr. George Knafl, biostatistician at the Yale School of Nursing, and Dr. Schwartz have been performing a secondary analysis of the Air Force data without excluding any subjects and employing more powerful statistical tools, and they have found a correlation does exist.They hope their findings will spur further research, some of which could study the 50,000 biological specimens taken from Vietnam troops archived by the Air Force.