The Vietnam Environment Administration (VEA) under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment held a seminar on dioxin analytical capacity in Vietnam on November 30 in Hanoi.

A number of laboratories in Vietnam have been upgraded to serve the research into the consequences of Agent Orange/dioxin in Vietnam , including the facility at the Vietnam-Russia Tropical Centre, and the Analytical Centre in Ho Chi Minh City .

Deputy Director of VEA Le Ke Son said although Vietnam has gained a number of achievements in researching and analysing dioxin pollution, the activities have faced obstacles, including the shortage of personnel.

He called for assistance from the US Government in terms of equipment and personnel training in the field, so that Vietnam can achieve the goal of solving basic problems related to dioxin pollution in Vietnam by 2015.

During 10 years from 1961, the US Army sprayed more than 18.2 million gallon of Agent Orange containing dioxin onto more than 10 percent of land in southern Vietnam , destroying millions of hectares of forest and agricultural land, causing graving impacts to the health of many Vietnamese people and the following generations.

It is estimated that more than 4.8 million Vietnamese were exposed to Agent Orange/dioxin, most of whom live along the Truong Son Road and boundary area with Cambodia . Many of the victims have died while million of their descendants are still living with diseases and poverty due to the affects of Agent Orange./.VNA