“… Australian troops fighting in Vietnam were exposed to a cocktail of chemicals, including herbicides, especially the popularly known Agent Orange used to defoliate jungle, which was seen as providing tactical advantages for their enemy. Pesticides, including highly toxic dieldrin, were also apparently misused in aerial spraying of Australian bases.
Veterans in Australia and the US claim they have suffered increased rates of throat cancer, acute and chronic leukaemia, Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, prostate cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, soft tissue sarcoma and liver cancer, as well as nerve, digestive, skin and respiratory disorders….”
“First you’d see the spotter plane flying higher to check things out, then the big duster coming in just above the treetops,” he said.
The dust was to keep the jungle and undergrowth down to remove enemy cover, and it drifted everywhere, settling on soldiers, trucks and tents, and washing into water tanks. “We were cooking in this water, showering in it every day, drinking it,” says David, who now lives with Dianne at Saratoga on the Central Coast. “Afterwards you’d get this prickly heat, and it affected my skin.