Mon, September 24, 2012
World

U.S., Vietnam discuss Agent Orange/Dioxin issue

2012-09-21 15:24:58 GMT2012-09-21 23:24:58(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

HANOI, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- The members of the U.S.-Vietnam Joint Advisory Committee (JAC) will make the best possible effort to deal with consequences of Agent Orange/Dioxin in the country, said a senior official on Friday.

Dr. Le Ke Son, director general of the Office of National Steering Committee on overcoming consequences of AO/Dioxin in Vietnam (Office 33) under Vietnam's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE), made the remark at the press briefing to conclude the Seventh Annual Meeting of the U.S.-Vietnam JAC on Agent Orange/Dioxin (AO/Dioxin) in Vietnam's capital Hanoi which was held on Sept. 20-21.

During the two-day meeting, participants emphasized the need of cooperation between the governments of the two countries in order to ensure the good effect of the environmental cleanup project in Vietnam's cental Da Nang city, one of the hot spots of dioxin contamination in Vietnam, Son said.

Jenifer Orme-Zavaleta, director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s National Exposure Research Laboratory, co-chair of the 7th JAC meeting, said that with the U.S.-Vietnam partnership, the works of dealing with dioxin consequences has partially accomplished in Da Nang city, Bien Hoa city (Dong Nai province) and Phu Cat district (Binh Dinh province).

One of the significant accomplishments over the past years includes the project of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) on clearing up the dioxin contaminated soil at Da Nang airport, Zavaleta said.

On the health issues, the JAC has completed the first program providing services for the disabled people in Da Nang. Next year, a new program, which costs about 9 million U.S. dollars in three years, will help pilot public health measures to prevent diseases and disabilities in local population, Zavaleta added.

JAC provides scientific advice to the U.S. and Vietnamese governments on cleanup of dioxin contamination and research on health issues associated with dioxin.

So far, experts have identified at least 28 dioxin hot spots in Vietnam.

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