New Findings Track Vietnam War's Toxic Legacy

"DA NANG, Vietnam -- When a small Canadian environmental firm started collecting soil samples on a former U.S. air base in a remote Vietnamese valley, Thomas Boivin and other scientists were skeptical that they would find evidence proving herbicides used there by the American military decades ago still posed a health threat.

But results showed that levels of the cancer-causing poison dioxin were far greater than guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for residential areas.

That's when Boivin, now president of the firm, says he had his 'eureka moment.' Vancouver-based Hatfield Consultants Ltd. began tracing the toxin through the food chain, from the soil and sediment of nearby ponds to the fat of ducks and fish to the blood and breast milk of villagers living on the contaminated site."

Jason Grotto reports for the Los Angeles Times January 3, 2010.

Source: LA Times, 01/04/2010