Pollutants found at US base in S.Korea – possible Agent Orange


Traces of toxic chemicals have been found at a US military camp but there is no evidence yet to support claims that Agent Orange was buried there in 1978, South Korean and American investigators said.

Dangerous levels of trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene were detected in underground waters at Camp Caroll near the southeastern city of Daegu, the joint team said in a statement. Trichloroethylene is commonly used as an industrial solvent and tetrachloroethylene is used for dry cleaning of fabrics.

The team has been investigating allegations that large amounts of Agent Orange were dumped and buried at the US logistics base in 1978. The investigators also said they had begun collecting earth samples from 43 different sites at the base, including one where a US veteran said 250 barrels containing the toxic defoliant were buried. The team’s findings will be made public near the end of August, they said.

Following the US veterans’ claim made on American television, the US military in Korea said in May that a “large number” of drums containing pesticides, herbicides and solvents were buried there in 1978. But it said there was no specific information that Agent Orange was in the containers. It said the materials along with 40-60 tonnes of soil were removed from the site in 1979-1980 and disposed of elsewhere.

The US has based tens of thousands of service personnel in the South since the 1950-1953 Korean War, with 28,500 troops currently stationed in the country.

During the Vietnam War US aircraft sprayed Agent Orange and other herbicides containing potentially cancer-causing dioxin to strip trees of foliage, in a bid to deprive communist forces of cover and food. (TerraDaily)

US Army admits chemical dumping (KoreaTimes)

Soil, Groundwater Near Old U.S. Bases Contaminated (ChosunIlbo)

U.S. Kept Agent Orange at Another Camp in Korea (ChosunIlbo)

U.S. Veterans Admit Burying Deadly Chemical in Korea (ChosunIlbo)

Agent Orange was used in Korea in the late 1960s. Republic of Korea troops were the only personnel involved in the spraying, which occurred along the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). Citing declassified U.S. Department of Defense documents, Korean officials fear thousands of its soldiers may have come into contact with the deadly defoliant in the late 1960s and early 1970s. According to one top government official, as many as ‘30,000 Korean veterans are suffering from illness related to their exposure’. The exact number of GIs who may have been exposed is unknown. But C. David Benbow, a North Carolina attorney who served as a sergeant with Co. C, 3rd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, along the DMZ in 1968–69, estimates as many as ‘4,000 soldiers at any given time’ could have been affected.


In 1999, about 20,000 South Koreans filed two separated lawsuits against U.S. companies, seeking more than $5 billion in damages. After losing a decision in 2002, they filed an appeal.

APPEAL of the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent of Orange/dioxin(VAVA)

In January 2006, the South Korean Appeals Court ordered Dow Chemical and Monsanto to pay $62 million in compensation to about 6,800 people. The ruling acknowledged that “the defendants failed to ensure safety as the defoliants manufactured by the defendants had higher levels of dioxins than standard“, and, quoting the U.S. National Academy of Science report, declared that there was a “causal relationship” between Agent Orange and 11 diseases, including cancers of the lung, larynx and prostate. The judges failed to acknowledge “the relationship between the chemical and peripheral neuropathy, the disease most widespread among Agent Orange victims” according to the Mercury News.

The United States local press KPHO-TV in Phoenix, Arizona alleged that the United States Army has buried Agent Orange in Camp Carroll, the U.S. Army base located in Gyeongsangbuk-do, Korea.It is based on the claim of three U.S. Army veterans. They claimed approximately 250 55 gallon drums of Agent Orange were buried at Camp Carroll in 1978, which was indicated as ‘Chemicals type Agent Orange‘ or ‘Province of Vietnam, Compound Orange‘ with stripe around the barrel dated 1967 for the Republic of Vietnam. The South Korean Ministry of Environment announced that they will request cooperative investigation at Camp Carroll officially.The USFK issued a statement that confirmed that barrels were buried there, but all (plus an additional 60 tons of soil) were removed in 1996. (CyberSarge’s)


Camp Carroll is located on the south east portion of South Korea, in Waegwan, close to the city of Daegu. It is named after Sergeant First Class Charles F. Carroll, a posthumous recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross for his acts of heroism during the Korean War.

Though small in size, Camp Carroll holds a population of approximately 3000. The population itself consists of Eighth Army personnel, employees and contractors, as well as Korean Augmentation to the U.S. Army (KATUSA) soldiers. Warehouses and lots make up a large portion of the location, as one of its main functions is to house war reserve stocks. A Post Exchange (PX), commissary, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, bowling center, library, community center, and various other amenities can also be found at Camp Carroll.

In May 2011 an interview with three United States Forces Korea veterans revealed that in 1978 approximately 250 55 gallon drums of chemicals believed to be Agent Orange were buried at Camp Carroll.  On 22 May 2011, the Eighth Army admitted that chemicals, pesticides, herbicides and solvents had been buried at Camp Carroll in 1978, but that the materials and 60 tons of dirt were subsequently removed in 1979-1980. A joint US-ROK investigation is continuing although nothing has been found as of 22 June 2011.

While in Vietnam, the veterans were told not to worry, and were persuaded the chemical was harmless.After returning home, Vietnam veterans began to suspect their ill health or the instances of their wives having miscarriages or children born with birth defects may be related to Agent Orange and the other toxic herbicides to which they were exposed in Vietnam. Veterans began to file claims in 1977 to the Department of Veterans Affairs for disability payments for health care for conditions they believed were associated with exposure to Agent Orange, or more specifically, dioxin, but their claims were denied unless they could prove the condition began when they were in the service or within one year of their discharge.

By April 1993, the Department of Veterans Affairs had only compensated 486 victims, although it had received disability claims from 39,419 soldiers who had been exposed to Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam.

About 17.8% (3,100,000 ha) of the total forested area of Vietnam was sprayed during the war, which dramatically disrupted ecological equilibrium. Furthermore, the persistent nature of dioxins, erosion caused by loss of protective tree cover, and loss of seeding forest stock, meant reforestation was difficult or impossible in many areas.Many defoliated forest areas were quickly invaded by aggressive pioneer species, such as bamboo and cogon grass, which make it unlikely the forests will be able to regenerate. Animal species diversity was also significantly impacted: in one study, a Harvard biologist found 24 species of birds and 5 species of mammals in a sprayed forest, while in two adjacent sections of unsprayed forest there were 145 and 170 species of birds and 30 and 55 species of mammals.

During the Vietnam War, between 1962 and 1971, the United States military sprayed 12,000,000 US gallons (50,000,000 L) of chemical herbicides and defoliants in Vietnam, eastern Laos and parts of Cambodia, as part of Operation Ranch Hand. The program’s goal was to defoliate forested and rural land, depriving guerrillas of cover; another goal was to induce forced draft urbanization, destroying the ability of peasants to support themselves in the countryside, and forcing them to flee to the U.S. dominated cities, thus depriving the guerrillas of their rural support base and food supply.

Dioxins from Agent Orange have persisted in the Vietnamese environment since the war, migrating through soil and being transported by a variety of natural processes into the water supply. Movement of dioxins through the food web has resulted in bioconcentration and biomagnification.  The areas most heavily contaminated with dioxins are the sites of former U.S. air bases.

The Vietnam Red Cross reported as many as 3 million Vietnamese people have been affected by Agent Orange, including at least 150,000 children born with birth defects.According to Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 4.8 million Vietnamese people were exposed to Agent Orange, resulting in 400,000 people being killed or maimed, and 500,000 children born with birth defects.

Children in the areas where Agent Orange was used have been affected and have multiple health problems, including cleft palate, mental disabilities, hernias, and extra fingers and toes. In the 1970s, high levels of dioxin were found in the breast milk of South Vietnamese women, and in the blood of U.S. soldiers who had served in Vietnam.The most affected zones are the mountainous area along Truong Son (Long Mountains) and the border between Vietnam and Cambodia. The affected residents are living in substandard conditions with many genetic diseases. 

About 28 of the former US military bases in Vietnam where the herbicides were stored and loaded onto airplanes still have high level of dioxins in the soil, posing a health threat to the surrounding communities. These ‘hotspots’ have dioxin contamination up to 350 times higher than international recommendations for action. The contaminated soil and sediment continue to affect the citizens of Vietnam, poisoning their food chain and causing illnesses, serious skin diseases and a variety of cancers in the lungs, larynx, and prostate. (Wikipedia)




Monsanto ~ Agent Orange: Background on Monsanto’s Involvement

Monsanto’s Agent Orange: The Persistent Ghost from the Vietnam War



The Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin Fund
1) To assist In Vietnam:
Account in VND:      00311.0123.4005
Opened at: Military Bank, Thanh Xu©n Office- Hanoi
Address:  475 Nguyen Trai, Thanh Xuan Dist., Hanoi
Swift code: MSCBVNVX
2) To help abroad:
Account in VN§:     00110.0086.3681
Account in USD:      00113.7086.3710
Account in EURO:   00111.4086.3770
Opened at: VietCombank
Address: 31-33 Ngo Quyen Str., Hoµn KiÕm Dist., Hanoi
Swift code: BFTVVNVX

The Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin (vava)
35 Ho Me Tri Road, Nhan Chinh Ward, Thanh Xuan District
Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel: +844-62 65 26 65
Fax: +844- 62 65 26 43
Email: vava@vava.org.vn ;
Website: www.vava.org.vn


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  1. I was stationed at Kunsan Air Base from 1968-1969. Curious if anyone has info on Agent Orange at that base. I remember not seeing much foliage near the runways and where the F-100’s were parked.

  2. My husband, Airman, Arthur Eckert just passed from Hodgkins lymphoma..stationed at Osan 1972-1973. I am trying to find others who have served there during this time frame who have agent orange related illnesses.

  3. I served 2 tours in Korea 1983-1984, then 1983-1984, Camp Howze the first tour, I remember vaguely olive drab barrels with an orange stripe in our motor pool not sure what they did with those but at one time had us move them, I remember helping move one barrel while the rest were moved by other troops, I do remember that they were heavy and full but as far as their destination i have idea where they went

  4. Stationed at osan AFB 1968/1969. Filed under agent orange due to bladder and prostate cancer (now have thyroid problems and type ll diabetes). Was denied (not served along dmz). Did not appeal…now 79 years old….pretty soon most of us will not be around and we will not be a problem to the VA!

    1. you need to keep trying that is why the VA always will win. If you don’t keep pushing for them to recognize you were exposed how will any of you win their cases? That is how they finally won in September 2011 they called it Nehmer they had to pull all the denied claims for 10 presumptive conditions his 10 conditions he died of but his case finally won and all of those who were denied and were still living received lots of funding and some were in the $800,000 or more. I know because my X husband worked for the VA at the time and he was involved in giving some of those dollars well deserving veterans who have been suffering for so many years. THE VA WANTS YOU TO GIVE UP… DON’T DO IT. KEEP FIGHTING THEM. I still am fighting them on my claims, they are not going to win mine are not nearly as important as yours so don’t let them win.

  5. I was stationed at Kwangju AFB south Korea. I worked at the bomb dump as a munitions technition July 82 to 83. I also helped out at the motorpool taking vehicles back and forth to other installations Camp Humphreys and Camp Carroll and Camp Casey all on TDYs while helping the motorpool. I also got diabetes 2 when I was 42 and I have filed a claim but was denied. I just received my denial letter. Call 5073631122

  6. I am just now learning that Osan Air Base had, or may have had, Agent Orange or other tactical grade herbicides and pesticides and/or other toxic war materials stored there. I was stationed at Osan during 1966-1967, with a week at Camp Casey to do an article for Stars & Stripes in (I think) May ’67. It was clear there was a lot of defoliation, guys were sick, the smell was terrible—and my article and negatives were taken and never saw the light of day. I have diabetes mellitus and chronic lymphocytic leukemia, but my recent claim is almost certain to be denied because the official record states that AO spraying occurred only after September 1, 1967. Like a lot of others, I have no official “proof” of anything—not even that I was on a brief assignment there and was clearly exposed—but would love to have some proof or buddy reporting or documentation of some kind to show that AO or Agent Blue or Agent Purple might have been sprayed before the officially accepted date. If anyone can point the way, please be kind enough to email me at 1barryg1@gmail.com—as well as to post here for all others to see. Also, if there is any information on Agent Orange or other defoliants stored at Osan that would be particularly helpful. Many thanks.

  7. I spent 13 months in Korea, stationed at K14, Kimpo AB, also was at Ascom Army hospital for 39 days. 1963-1964
    VA diagnosed me with two forms of Leukemia about 10 years ago. Also have had four heart events. Plus now wear hearing aids.
    VA says none were caused because of my time or location of service.
    I have two different appeals that have been in process for about 9 months but really have no hope that anything positive will come of it. I’m told not to give up but hard not to.
    VA says no

    1. Did you have pictures of any barrels stored on the base? I am appealing my claim 1963-1964 on the DMZ 1st Cav Div Arty Camp McNair. I saw dead fields and trees standing but also dead. We just need. To prove that the ROK army sprayed.

  8. I was stationed at Camp Stanley with B Company U.S Army 1965-1966 . i am searching for anyone that was TDY up near Camp Essyons and near the DMZ , working on building bridges. I currently am service connected with severe hearing loss . About 2 years ago I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, I am working on a claim with VA and I need a statement form a buddy that we know for a fact there was agent orange and other herbicides being sprayed as we were working out ther at the rock quarries drilling, but were told not to worry that it was safe for us! The fact is …it was not safe at all !! One of my buddies was Nolan Oaks and another buddy was Victor Martinez.


  10. 109th CONGRESS
    2d Session
    S. 2914


    May 19, 2006
    Mr. DeWine introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

    A BILL

    To recognize and honor the soldiers of the United States and the Republic of Korea who served, were wounded, or were killed from 1953 until the present in the defense of the Republic of Korea, to require the placement of a commemorative plaque at the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., and for other purposes.

    1.Short title
    This Act may be cited as the DMZ War Veterans Recognition Act of 2006.

    Congress finds that—

    (1)the Korean War, which began in 1950 and ended when the Korean War Armistice was signed in 1953, is commonly known as the Forgotten War;
    (2)a later war in Korea, known only to some veterans and their families as the Unknown War or the DMZ War, occurred long after the Korean War Armistice was signed in 1953;
    (3)according to military documents, the leadership of North Korea issued a declaration of war against the United States in a speech in 1966, which read that U.S. imperialists should be dealt blows and their forces dispersed to the maximum in Asia. . . .;
    (4)the 124th Special Forces unit of North Korea—
    (A)was trained—
    (i)to destroy the camps and civilians of the United States;
    (ii)to disrupt travel and communication between the Armed Forces; and
    (iii)to sabotage and assassinate the government officials of South Korea and the United States; and
    (B)repeatedly confronted the soldiers of the United States and the Republic of Korea when crossing through the Demilitarized Zone;
    (5)since the Armistice was signed, over 40,000 Armistice violations have occurred, many of which involved troops of the United States who were stationed in and around Korea;
    (6)some of those violations, like the capture of the USS Pueblo, caught the attention of the media, although most have not;
    (7)since the end of the Korean War, many soldiers of the United States have died or been wounded in Korea as a result of hostile fire;
    (8)some veterans of the Republic of Korea suffer from exposure to Agent Orange, which was used during a period that began in 1968 and ended in 1969 in and around the DMZ;
    (9)because the hazardous properties of Agent Orange last for at least 100 years, soldiers of the United States who later served in the Demilitarized Zone had been exposed to the chemical long after the Armed Forces stopped using it;
    (10)the military personnel of the United States who served in the Korean War during the period that began in 1966 and ended in 1969 received the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal; and
    (11)a few of the soldiers who fought and died in the Korean War have been—
    (A)nominated posthumously for the Congressional Medal of Honor; and
    (i)the Silver Star or Bronze Star for valor in combat; and
    (ii)the Purple Heart for being wounded in combat.
    The term plaque means the plaque directed to be placed at the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. under section 4(a).

    The term Secretary means the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Director of the National Park Service.

    4.Placement of commemorative plaque
    Not later than November 11, 2009, the Secretary shall place on or near the grounds of the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., a plaque to commemorate the sacrifices of those who served, were wounded, or were killed from 1953 until the present in the defense of the Republic of Korea, that contains the following inscription (in which the bracketed space shall include the date on which the plaque is placed): Dedicated to the soldiers of the United States and the Republic of Korea who served, were wounded, or were killed from 1953 until the present in the defense of the Republic of Korea. The efforts of those soldiers have enabled the Republic of Korea to develop into a successful and modern country. Since 1953, the Armed Forces of the United States experienced more than 40,000 Armistice violation incidents. Those incidents have caused the deaths of over 100 soldiers of the Armed Forces of the United States and the wounding of hundreds more from hostile fire in the Korean Peninsula and its surrounding waters. Unknown to most citizens, the soldiers of the United States and the Republic of Korea fought and won the DMZ War between November 1966 and December 1969. That war caused the majority of the Armistice casualties. We remember the service, sacrifice, and valor of all of those soldiers on this 40th anniversary of the start of the DMZ War. Their fellow soldiers and their families will never forget them. Let this Plaque aid their countries to remember them as well. Placed this day, [__________]..

  11. i WAS STATION IN JAPAN AT Yakota air base,I spent an average of 5 to 6 months in Korea at Osan AFB. I now have heart trouble, type 2 diabetes, and had to have some of my lung removed in 2001. I am just starting this process. contact me at the abovr emain

    1. I was station at Osan AFB in1969 – 1970 in the 6314th CES, Water Plant. I am also filing an appeal. I need some help from soms one who was there at the time I wasthere ASAP. Email me with a phone where can talk. I three cancers, hearig aids and serious eye problem.

  12. I was TDY from Japan to Osan AFB several times from 69-7. I was a weapons specialist on an F-4 Load Crew. I have had several health issues starting a few years after discharge. This includes Type 2 Diabetes and Ischemic Heart Disease. I remember C-123's with sprayer units on the runway not far from where I worked and very little vegetation at the base perimeter. Does anyone have any more information. I am trying to file a claim with no luck so far. I am now on insulin, have had 2 bypass surgeries and recently a heart transplant.

    1. Was stationed@ Osan between April 67 to July 68. I too have Diabetes and Nueropathy . Cant get claim through for agent orange exposure even though I refueled aircraft including 123s during that time, They are waiting for us to die John before telling the whole story of AO in Korea. Let me know your current situation.

    2. John, I would like to talk with you about your time at Osan. I was air freight specialist. I to remember the C-123’s. I have a claim in and waiting for the results. email me at ludbans@live.com or call 260244-5525

  13. I was stationed on an isolated Hawk site 76-77 in Korea. I know the site was treated with something I have witnesses; however the DOD will not tell the truth and the VA will deny any claims. But you still get all the diseases related to Agent Orange. Don’t look for help from your elected officials either. But please write them call and bother them maybe at some point we could actually shame them into action. It’s pretty hard to shame a congressman into anything except giving themselves a raise and more time off.

    Another problem is that they will not recognize any residual affects, meaning if came in a week after the spraying they act like it didn’t affect you at all. You have to prove that you were swimming in the stuff.

  14. I was station at Osan Air Base, Korea from December 11, 1967 until October 20, 1970 and in 2002 I was diagnosed as a Type 2 Diabetic. I would like to be ‘service-connected how do I go about it?

    1. I am in a similar position. I have filed a claim and was denied but I am in the process of appeal. Please see my post on this site. Good luck with your claim.

      1. John, How is your appeal going? I was station on Okinawa also and they have found barrels of agent orange there. Where you every station in Okinawa during the late 60’s or 70’s?

      2. First let me say Thanks for your service.
        I’m in the process of filing an appeal for exposure to AO at Kunsan AFB, south Korea from 1969 t0 1970. So far all I’m getting is the run around from the VA.
        Did you have any luck with your calim. If so, what is your secret, if not I’m sorry.

          1. My dad was also at Kunsan as a fuel specialist in 1969-1970. He died last February from ischemic heart disease, diabetes 11 and many other issues. He was sick a long time and we never understood why. We were unaware of the agent orange exposure until after his death. My mom filed a claim in July. Please keep us updated if you appeal and what happens.

          2. Natalie ,I was stationed at Kunsan AB 75 -76 .
            There was Agent Orange sprayed on the base .
            The runways were sprayed , the bomb dump was sprayed , because there was a North Korean camp just outside the bomb dump and they would try to sneak in at night and steal anything of value .
            I have 38 different illnesses .
            I have had 4 bypasses , stage 4 kidney failure , when I was 50 years old the doctors said my insides were that of an 80 year old and had a heart attack last March and now living on half a heart thanks to the V.A. not catching a blocked vessel .
            I just found out 3 weeks ago I have kidney cancer.
            I have been denied 3 times and now at board of appeal .
            It’s been 10 years since I filed , but we will see .
            if you need to ask me anything about this , just contact me by E-mail

          3. I was station in Kunsan from 74-75. They had us practice war combat in the fields that had hardly any vegetation next to the Korean base on the yellow sea. I now have type 2 diabetes, triple by pass, 2 clog arteries, high blood pressure, kidney disease and a host of smaller issues. I do believe this is from agent orange especially since this chemical remains in the ground for a life time. My Cell is 386-801-2517. Paul Hutton

  15. I was in the Korea DMZ from Jan. 18, l967 through March 6, l968. I have many, many diseases which are similar to the soldiers in Vietnam. I would like to be ‘service-connected’ but because of the DOD establishing the beginning date of April 1, l968 for any compensation due to the spraying of herbicides, I did not fall within this specific date/time even if I have similar diseases…”Go Figure…!” If there is anyone out there that can help me please send me a note: email: rasm@att.net

    1. Mr. Muguerza,

      Sir please write to your elected officials. Your congerssmen your senators. There are an etire group of Korea veterans from about 1960 to about 1985 that were or could have been effected. The stuff has a hell of a shelf life and once used it gets into everything from the plants to the water and the entire food chain.

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