My first impressions of the site were grim. The stench nauseating. The area that I now walked on had been cemented over a number of years earlier as an attempt to prevent further contamination from dioxin. This was the very site where Agent Orange had been stored, mixed, and loaded onto aircraft. It is a wetland area with shallow groundwater. It is adjacent to a very densely populated residential area. This is the source of so much death, destruction and heartache.
The method of remediation that has been selected is known as In-Pile Thermal Desorption (IPTD). There is approximately 67,000 cubic meters of dioxin contaminated soil at the airport which will be processed by this method. In effect, the contaminated soil will be excavated, hauled and placed in the IPTD pile structure. It is important to note, that this entire process will take place on premise at the airport. The pile structure itself will be constructed in close proximity of the contaminated area. This thermal technology, amongst other things, heats the soil to extreme highs (700-800 degrees centigrade) necessary to remove the dioxin contaminates. In theory, the soil, once treated by IPTD will be returned to its “normal, pre-contaminated” state. I say “in theory”, because one question I asked the Doctor was if this method had ever been successfully used in removing dioxin at these very high levels. To his knowledge, it never has been – but he believes the technology will in fact work.
An Open Invitation to the Manufacturers of Agent Orange: Perhaps if you took the time to see the generations of victims, the broken hearts, the misery, you would indeed set aside your corporate greed and lend a humanitarian hand to the victims. It has been 50 years since the US first sprayed your manufactured poison. This is an open invitation to the management of Monsanto – please come to Da Nang. See this, one of the several hot-spots in Vietnam. See the results of Agent Orange.