The Washington Post
Help toxic chemical victims
Regarding the Feb. 18 news article “Fears of becoming ‘ toxic town’”:
When the toxic spill from a railroad derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, was set afire, dioxin, a chemical in Agent Orange, was likely created.
I was contaminated by Agent Orange during the 18 months I spent in Vietnam during 1969 and 1970. As a civilian accompanying my journalist husband, I did not think of myself as a veteran of combat — and in my mind, only vets were victims of Agent Orange. Twenty-five years after we left Saigon, the first of five cancers struck. Our daughter, then a toddler, recently had a double mastectomy. The Vietnamese people suffered countless deaths from Agent Orange.
When the vinyl chloride that spilled out as a result of the derailment was set afire, dioxin likely contaminated the people, soil and homes of the town for generations to come.
Agent Orange, sprayed over Vietnam from 1965 to 1971, was recognized in 1991 in the first Agent Orange Act passed by Congress. The science of dioxin contamination is well-known. If the government does not act, help for the victims in East Palestine will be muddled and those responsible for the disaster will affirm that greed pays.
Ann Charnley, Oak Bluffs, Mass.