Sunday, July 29, 2012
Agent Orange Gagetown: CDC to probe Maine troops' possible toxin exposure at Canadian base
Although Agent Orange – a Vietnam War-era defoliant that causes cancer and severe health problems – was only used for several days at Gagetown in the 1960s, the base continued to use other herbicides and defoliants that have been linked to health problems.
Concerns over troop exposure to potentially toxic herbicides at the Gagetown base are not new. The Canadian government investigated the issue years ago and subsequently agreed to compensate some soldiers who were sickened due to exposure to Agent Orange. Maine officials have also been involved in the issue since at least 2005.
“Maine National Guard soldiers dug foxholes, low crawled, slept in pup tents, and lived in some of these areas for up to 12 days at a time,” the paper stated. “Guard engineers graded roads where herbicides were used to keep brush growth down on the edge of the road; cleared brush out of and constructed bivouac sites; and conducted demolition and engineer missions all over CFB Gagetown. Artillerymen fired thousands of rounds into the impact areas and the detonation of those rounds put those chemicals back into the air to be dispersed wherever the wind took them.”