Soil contaminated with Agent Orange/ dioxin. (Photo: AFP)

Cooperation measures to tackle soil contaminated with Agent Orange/ dioxin sprayed by the US army during the war in Vietnam were discussed by experts from Vietnam and the Republic of Korea (RoK) in Hanoi on September 7.

The conference was part of the cooperation between Vietnam Association for Conservation of Nature and Environment (VACNE) and the Biological Company of the RoK (BJC) under a Memorandum of Understanding regarding a project on handling dioxin consequences that they signed last year.

Speaking at the conference, Dr. Mai Thanh Dung, deputy director of the Vietnam Environment Administration said Vietnam is striving to solve dioxin repercussions in seriously contaminated areas, including A Luoi district in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue.

At the event, scientists presented outcomes of their latest research on the matter while exchanging viewpoints on microbiological measures to treat the toxic chemical and solutions for soil improvement to suit agriculture.

In the past two years, Vietnam and the RoK have conducted research tackling dioxin integrated with improving the environment and enhancing local livelihoods.

After the conference, the RoK scientists and VACNE delegation collected soil samples in A Luoi district to test the microbiological treatment method.

From 1961-1971, US troops sprayed more than 80 million litres of herbicides—44 million litres of which were AO containing nearly 370 kilograms of dioxin—over southern Vietnam.

As a result, around 4.8 million Vietnamese were exposed to the toxic chemical. Many of the victims have died, while millions of their descendants are living with deformities and diseases as a direct result of the chemical’s effects.-VNA