Long overlooked historical information on agent orange and TCDD following massive applications of 2,4,5-t-containing herbicides, eglin air force base, sFlorida
- 567 Downloads
From 1961-1971, The Air Development Test Center, Eglin Air Force Base (AFB), Florida, developed, tested, and calibrated the aerial spray systems used in support of Operation RANCH HAND and the US Army Chemical Corps in Vietnam. Twenty major test and evaluation projects of aerial spray equipment were conducted on four fully instrumented test grids, each uniquely arrayed to match the needs of fixed-wing, helicopter, or jet aircraft. Each of the grids was established within the boundary of Test Area 52A of the Eglin Reservation.
The tests, conducted under climatic and environmental conditions similar to those in Vietnam, included the use of the military herbicides (Agents) Orange, Purple, White, and Blue. Approximately 75,000 kg of 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T) and 76,000 kg of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) were aerially disseminated on an area of less than 3 km2 during the period 1962-1970. Data from the analysis of archived samples suggested that an estimated 3.1 kg of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), present as a contaminant, were aerially released in the test area. Because most of the vegetation had been removed before establishing the test site in 1961, there was an opportunity to follow ground-based residues independent of canopy interception, and the resulting high solar exposure of initial residues. Studies of the soils, fauna, flora, and aquatic ecosystems of the test grids and associated perimeters of Test Area C-52A (an area totally more than 8 km2) were initiated in 1969 and concluded in 1984.
Results and Discussion
Data from soil samples collected from 1974 through 1984 suggested that less than one percent of the TCDD that was present in soil when sampling began persisted through the ten-year period of sampling. More than 340 species of organisms were observed and identified within the test area. More than 300 biological samples were analyzed for TCDD and detectable residues were found in 16 of 45 species examined. Examination of the ecological niches of the species containing TCDD residues suggested each was in close contact with contaminated soil. Indepth field studies, including anatomical, histological and ultrastructural examinations, spanning more than 50 generations of the Beachmouse,Peromyscus polionotus, demonstrated that continual exposure to soil concentrations of 0.1 to 1.5 parts-per-billion (ng/g) of TCDD, had minimal effects upon the health and reproduction of this species.
Since Agent Orange with its associated TCDD contaminant was aerially disseminated on the test grids, Test Area C-52A provided a ‘field laboratory’ for what may hae happened in Vietnam, had there been no intercepting forest cover. However, in Vietnam a ‘typical’ mission would have disseminated 14.8 kg of 2,4,5-T/ha, most of which was intercepted by the forest canopy, versus the 876 kg 2,4,5-T/ha on the test grid at Eglin. Moreover, each hectare on the Eglin test grid received at least 1,300 times more TCDD than a hectare sprayed with Agent Orange in Vietnam. The disappearance or persistence of TCDD is dependent upon how it enters the ecosystem. Spray equipment test and evaluations missions at Eglin were generally scheduled and conducted with environmental conditions that were optimal for spray operations. This suggests that conditions favorable for dissemination of herbicide were the same conditions favorable for photodegradation of TCDD. It was likely that 99 percent of the TCDD never persisted beyond the day of application. No long-term adverse ecological effects were documented in these studies despite the massive quantities of herbicides and TCDD that were applied to the site. Reviews by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine did not address the fate of Agent Orange and TCDD as described in these studies from Eglin AFB, Florida.
KeywordsAgent Orange soil persistence environmental fate ecosystem research Vietnam Eglin AFB, Florida 2,4,5-T herbicide military herbicides 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD)
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Klein RE, Harrigan ET (1969): Comparison Test of Defoliants. Technical Report ADTC-TR-69-30, Vol I and II. Directorate of Test and Evaluation, Armament Development and Test Center, Eglin AFB, FL http:// www.nal.usda.gov/speccoll/finfiaids/agentorange/text/00031.pdfGoogle Scholar
- Tschirley FH (1968): Response of Tropical and Subtropical Woody Plants to Chemical Treatments. Research Report USDA-ARS-CR-13-67. Prepared under ARPA Order No. 424, Advanced Research Project Agency, United States Department of Defense, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
- Irish KR, Darrow RA, Minarik CE (1969): Information Manual for Vegetation Control in Southeast Asia. Miscellaneous Publication 33, Plant Science Laboratories, Department of the Army, Frederick, MD http://www.nal.usda.gov/speccoll/findaids/agentorange/text/00073.pdfGoogle Scholar
- Ward DB (1967): Ecological Records on Eglin AFB Reservation - The First Year. Technical Report AFATL-TR-68-147, Air Force Armament Laboratory, Armament Development and Test Center, Eglin AFB, FL http://www.nal.usda.gov/speccoll/findaids/agentorange/catalog/ 06566.htmlGoogle Scholar
- Young AL (1974): Ecological Studies on a Herbicide-Equipment Test Area (TA C-52A), Eglin AFB Reservation, Florida. Technical Report AFATL-TR-74-12, Air Force Armament Laboratory, Air Force Systems Command, Eglin AFB, FL http://www.nal.usda.gov/speccoll/ findaids/agentorange/text/03809.pdfGoogle Scholar
- Cecil PF (1986): Herbicidal Warfare: The RANCH HAND Project in Vietnam, Praeger Special Studies, New York, NYGoogle Scholar
- Brown JW, Whittam D (dy1962): Modification and Calibration of Defoliation Equipment (C-123 First Modification). US Air Force, US Department of Agriculture, US Army Chemical Corps, OSD/ARPA Order 256–62 http://www.nal.usda.gov/speccoll/findnids/agentorange/ text/00061.pdfGoogle Scholar
- Boyer LW, Brown JW (1964): Calibration of Spray Systems: C-123/MC-1, H-34/HIDAL, A-1H/FIDAL, Crops Division, Directorate of Biological Research, US Army Biological Laboratories, Fort Detrick, Frederick, MD http://www.nal.usda.gov/speccoll/findaids/agentorange/text/ 00344.pdfGoogle Scholar
- Flynn CL (1964): Development Test of the Internal Defoliant Dispenser, A/A 45Y-1. Deputy for Test Operations, Air Proving Ground Center, Air Forces Systems Command, US Air Force, Eglin AFB, FL http:// www.nal.usda.gov/speccoll/findaids/agentorange/text/00348.pdfGoogle Scholar
- Horan RA (1965): Evaluation of Emergency Dump Valve Modification to Internal Defoliant Dispenser A/A 45Y-1. Deputy for Test Operations, Air Proving Ground Center, Air Force Systems, US Air Force, Eglin AFB, FL http://www.nal.usda.gov/speccoll/findaids/agentorange/ texr/00355.pdfGoogle Scholar
- Meyer GE (1966): Development Test of the COIN Defoliant Dispenser, A/B 23Y-1. Deputy for Test Operations, Air Proving Ground Center, Air Force Systems Command, US Air Force, Eglin AFB, FL http:// www.nal.usda.gov/speccoll/findaids/agentorange/text/00357.pdfGoogle Scholar
- Hazen VL (1967): Feasibility Test of the Stull BiFluid Defoliant System. Air Proving Ground Center, Air Force Systems Command, US Air Force, Eglin AFB, FL http://www.nal.usda.gov/speccon/findnids/ agentorange/text/00023.pdfGoogle Scholar
- Harrigan ET (1970): High-Speed Defoliation Test with a Modified TMU-28/B (PAU-7B) Tank. Technical Report ADTC-TR-70-74. Deputy for Test and Evaluation, Armament Development and Test Center, Eglin AFB, FL http://www.nal.usda.gov/speccoll/findaids/agentorange/text/00371.pdfGoogle Scholar
- Hendricks GM (1971): Short Boom Spray System on C-123, USAF Special Operations, Tactical Air Command, Eglin AFB, FL http:// www.nal.usda.gov/speccoH/findaids/agentorange/text/00084.pdfGoogle Scholar
- Young AL, Wolverton BC (1970): Military Herbicides and Insecticides. Technical Notes AFATL-TN-70-1. Air Force Armament Laboratory, Air Force Systems Command, Eglin AFB, FL http://www.nal.usda.gov/ speccoll/findaid.s/agentorange/text/03684.pdfGoogle Scholar
- Young, AL (1983): Long-term Studies on the Persistence and Movement of TCDD in a Natural Ecosystem. Environ Sci Res 26: 173–190Google Scholar
- AFSC (dy1963): Message: AFSC Form 199, Airlift Request and Control Sheet for Herbicide, 23 Sep 63 http://www.nal.usda.gov/speccoll/ findaids/agentorange/text/00272.pdfGoogle Scholar
- Acker RM, Hartmeyer RW, Heatherly JE, Bullard WE (1953): Anticrop Aerial Spray Trials, Phase III. Chemical Corps Biological Laboratories, Camp Detrick, Department of the Army, Frederick, MD http://www. nal.usda.gov/speccoll/findaids/agentorange/text/00l61.pdfGoogle Scholar
- Department of the Air Force (1974): Disposition of Orange Herbicide by Incineration. Final Environmental Statement, November 1974. US Air Force, Washington, DC http://www.nal.usda.gov/speccoll/findaids/ agentorange/text/00094.pdfGoogle Scholar
- Ward DB (1970): Ecological Records on Eglin AFB Reservation - Conclusions. Technical Report AFATL-TR-70-55, Air Force Armament Laboratory, Eglin AFB, FLGoogle Scholar
- Hunter JH, Agerton BM (1971): Annual Diameter Growth of Conifers Adjacent to Eglin Reservation Test Area C-52A as Related to the Testing of Defoliant Spray Equipment. Technical Report AFATL-TR-71-52, Air Force Armament Laboratory, Eglin AFB, FL http://www.nal. usda.gov/speccoll/findaids/agentorange/text/00085.pdfGoogle Scholar
- Sturrock TT, Young AL (1970): A Histological Study ofYucca filamentosa L. from Test Area C-52A, Eglin Reservation, Florida. Technical Report AFATL-TR-70-125, Air Force Armament Laboratory, Eglin AFB, FL http://www.nal.usda.gov/speccoll/findaids/agentorange/text/00082.pdfGoogle Scholar
- Hunter JH, Young AL (1972): Vegetative Succession Studies on a Defoliant Equipment Test Area, Eglin AFB Reservation, Florida. Technical Report AFATL-TR-72-31, Air Force Armament Laboratory, Eglin AFB, FL http://www.nal.usda.gov/speccoll/findaids/agentorange/text/ 03762.pdfGoogle Scholar
- Young AL, Regens JL, Gunter JT (2004): Agent Orange: Use, Disposition, and Environmental Fate. Report Prepared by the Institute for Science and Public Policy, University of Oklahoma, for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Installations and Environment.In press with the Government Printing Office, Washington DCGoogle Scholar
- Pate BD, Voigt RC, Lehn PJ, Hunter JH (1972): Animal Survey Studies of Test Area C-52A, Technical Report AFATL-TR-72-72, Air Force Armament Laboratory, Eglin AFB, FL http://www.nal.usda.gov/speccoll/ findaids/agentorange/text/00089.pdfGoogle Scholar
- Young AL, Thalken CE, Ward WE (1975): Studies of the Ecological Impact of Repetitive Aerial Applications of Herbicides on the Ecosystem of Test Area C-52A, Eglin AFB, Florida. Technical Report AFATL-TR-75-142, Air Force Armament Laboratory, Eglin AFB, FL http:// www.nal.usda.gov/speccoll/findaids/agentorange/text/00099.pdfGoogle Scholar
- Bartleson FD, Harrison DD, Morgan JD (1975): Field Studies of Wildlife Exposed to TCDD Contaminated Soils. Technical Report AFATL-TR-75-49, Air Force Armament Laboratory, Eglin AFB, FL http://www. nal.usda.gov/speccoll/findaids/agentorange/text/00098.pdfGoogle Scholar
- Lehn PJ, Young AL, Hamme NA, Wolverton (1970): Studies to Determine the Presence of Artificially Induced Arsenic Levels in Three Freshwater Streams and Its Effect on Fish Species Diversity. AFATL-TR-70-81, Air Force Armament Laboratory, Eglin AFB, FL http://www.nal. usda.gov/speccoll/findaids/agentorange/text/00080.pdfGoogle Scholar
- Valder SM (1972): Insect Density and Diversity Studies on Test Area C-52A, Eglin AFB Reservation, Florida. Technical Note AFATL-TN-72-4, Air Force Armament Laboratory, Eglin AFB, FL http://www.nal. usda.gov/speccoll/findaids/agentorange/text/03761,pdfGoogle Scholar
- Thalken CE, Young AL (1983): Long-term Field Studies of a Rodent Population Continuously Exposed to TCDD. Environ Sci Res 26: 357–372Google Scholar
- Cockerham LG, Young AL, Thalken CE (1980): Histopathological and Ultrastructural Studies of Liver Tissue from TCDD-Exposed Beach Mice (Peromyscus polionotus). Technical Report FJSRL-TR-80-0008, Frank J. Seiler Research Laboratory, Air Force Systems Command, US Air Force Academy, CO http://www.nal.usda.gov/speccoll/findaids/ agentorange/text/00106.pdfGoogle Scholar