- I. Evaluation and Selection of Chemicals
- II. Military Use of Chemicals
- III. Human Health Aspects
- Subseries 1: Exposure to Phenoxy Herbicides, TCDD and DDT
- Subseries 2. Background Information
- Subseries 3. Health Studies and Inquiries - United States Vietnam Veterans
- Subseries 4. Health Studies and Inquiries - Australian Vietnam Veterans
- IV. Accidental Poisoning Episodes - Civilian Exposure
- Subseries 1. Missouri
- Subseries 2. Binghamton, New York
- Subseries 3. National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
- Subseries 4. Seveso, Italy
- V. Animal Studies
- VI. Environmental Aspects
- Subseries 1. Southeast Asia
- Subseries 2. Environmental Fate of Phenoxy Herbicides/Dioxin
- Subseries 3. Plants, Soil and Disposal of Herbicides
- VII. Arsenic, Dioxin and Phenoxy Herbicides
- VIII. Government and Legal Response
- Subseries 1. Litigation, Hearings and Regulations
- Subseries 2. Agent Orange Working Group (AOWG)
- Subseries 3. Veterans Administration (VA)
- IX. Media Response
- X. Addenda
6 Boxes. 3 Linear Feet. Folders 1-59.
The majority of documents in Series I are technical reports focusing on the use of herbicides for defoliation purposes. Included in the series are specifications for spray equipment, evaluations of herbicide application techniques, and studies of the effects of herbicides on crops, vegetation, and the environment. A notable document is the manufacturer's report on the A/A45Y-1 Internal Defoliant Dispenser System, which was used for the Operation Ranch Hand spraying missions during the Vietnam War. Arrangement is chronological.
20 Boxes. 10 Linear Feet. Folders 60-382.
Series II focuses on the use of herbicides and pesticides for Operation Ranch Hand during the Vietnam War, and includes a time line of Ranch Hand operations and information on units, spraying missions, and equipment. It also provides additional information on herbicides, including documentation of the development of aerial delivery equipment at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, prior to the Vietnam War. The series consists of technical reports, military and federal specifications, correspondence, typescripts, and newspaper articles. Arrangement is chronological.
58 Boxes. 29 Linear Feet. Folders 383-2108.
Series III provides background on the use of pesticides and phenoxy herbicides for domestic and military purposes, as well as information on health studies of Vietnam veterans from the U.S. and Australia. The series is divided into four subseries.
Series III. Subseries 1. Exposure to Phenoxy Herbicides, TCDD and DDT, 1899-1984.
Folders 383-1242. Subseries 1 is divided into two sections, as arranged by Dr. Young. The first section focuses on human and animal exposure to phenoxy herbicides and 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, or TCDD, a toxic impurity found in Agent Orange and often referred to as "dioxin." The second section, which begins with folder 1181, centers on dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane, or DDT, a chlorinated hydrocarbon insecticide that was eventually banned from use in the U.S. Subseries 1 consists mainly of published journal articles. Arrangement is alphabetical by the last name of the author.
Series III. Subseries 2. Background Information, 1941-1990.
Folders 1243-1514. Subseries 2 covers a broad array of topics related to the use of herbicides and pesticides and their effects on humans, animals, and the environment. There is also information on public reaction to the use of these chemicals. The subseries contains newsletters, journal articles, correspondence, technical reports, and book chapters, including Dr. Young's 1981 paper, "Agent Orange at the Crossroads of Science and Social Concern," submitted to the Air Command and Staff College, Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. Arrangement is chronological.
Series III. Subseries 3. Health Studies and Inquiries - United States Vietnam Veterans, 1978-1988.
Folders 1515-1869. Subseries 3 provides information on several health studies, in particular the Air Force Health Study (also called Ranch Hand II), the Vietnam Experience Twin Study (VETS), the Veterans Administration Mortality Study, and the Agent Orange Exposure Study. The subseries contains reports, correspondence, study protocols and protocol reviews, a few newsletters from Vietnam veteran associations, and journal articles. Documents are grouped by health study and then arranged chronologically within the study groupings.
Series III. Subseries 4. Health Studies and Inquiries - Australian Vietnam Veterans, 1968-1987.
Folders 1870-2108. Australia provided troops as an allied contingent to the U.S. effort during the Vietnam War, and faced a similar controversy over the use of Agent Orange at the same time as the U.S. The Australian Royal Commission held hearings on the subject of chemical exposure and examined the government programs established to care for veterans. Alvin Young served as an advisor to the commission on epidemiologic studies. Notable documents include the 9-volume final report: Royal Commission on the Use and Effects of Chemical Agents on Australian Personnel in Vietnam and several health studies of Australian Vietnam veterans. Arrangement is chronological.
11 Boxes. 5.5 Linear Feet. Folders 2109-2422.
Series IV is divided into four subseries providing information on cases of dioxin releases in Missouri and Italy, a case of the release of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in an office building in Binghamton, New York, and a study of industrial workers exposed to dioxin conducted by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
Series IV. Subseries 1. Missouri, 1982-1983.
Folders 2109-2167. In the 1970s, a pharmaceutical manufacturer in Missouri produced dioxin as a byproduct, and drums of dioxin-contaminated wastes were buried or used to control dust at various sites in the state. One site in particular, Times Beach, was later cited in litigation by Vietnam veterans seeking compensation for Agent Orange exposure. Dr. Young made a presentation to the Missouri Dioxin Task Force in April 1983, addressing the fate of dioxin in the environment and describing the process of establishing exposure limits. The subseries includes the interim and final reports of the Missouri Dioxin Task Force, correspondence, and newspaper articles. Arrangement is chronological.
Series IV. Subseries 2. Binghamton, New York, 1981-1987.
Folders 2168-2293. In 1981, a fire in conjunction with several explosions occurred in the secondary electric distribution system in the Binghamton State Office Building (BSOB). One of the transformers was damaged and Askarel, an oil known to contain PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), leaked out. Contaminated soot containing PCBs, dioxin, and dibenzofurans, was distributed throughout the building. Dr. Young served on the BSOB Expert Panel, which was formed to define the conditions that would permit reoccupancy of the building, and continued to serve in an advisory capacity over the next six years. The subseries consists of correspondence and journal and newspaper articles. Arrangement is chronological.
Series IV. Subseries 3. National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 1984-1987.
Folders 2294-2302. The bulk of this small subseries pertains to the 1987 NIOSH Morbidity Study (also called The Study of Morbidity in Workers Exposed to Chemical-Herbicide Production and Community Residents of Unknown Exposure Status). The study was conducted in two phases to investigate the health status of chemical plant workers in Missouri and New Jersey who were engaged in the manufacture of 2,4,5-T, the component of Agent Orange containing dioxin. Dr. Young was a member of the 1984 Science Panel of the White House Agent Orange Working Group, which reviewed the protocol. The subseries includes memoranda, revisions of protocols, and several questionnaires used in the study. Arrangement is chronological.
Series IV. Subseries 4. Seveso, Italy, 1977-1986.
Folders 2303-2422. In 1976, a plant near Seveso released a toxic cloud, exposing over 37,000 people to reactor material heavily contaminated with TCDD. An intensive health screening program was conducted and in 1983, the Italian scientists involved in the studies visited the U.S. and met with Dr. Young and others to share information on civilian exposure incidents. Dr. Young was also involved in the creation of a cooperative effort between the Seveso scientists and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop techniques for soil decontamination. The subseries contains correspondence, journal and newspaper articles, reports and other publications. Arrangement is chronological.
17 Boxes. 8.5 Linear Feet. Folders 2423-3112.
This series consists primarily of photocopies and reprints of published journal articles reporting studies on the effects of chemical exposure on non-human animal health. Other published works include book chapters, bibliographies, newspaper clippings, and technical reports. Of particular interest are the two volumes of a Selected Bibliography of the Phenoxy Herbicides. Also contained in Series V are black and white photographs, field and lab notes, maps, correspondence, and drafts of papers. A large part of these materials come from rodent studies that Charles E. Thalken, Alvin L. Young, and others conducted at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, during the mid-1970s. Arrangement of Series V was left primarily in alphabetical order by author last name, as Dr. Young had organized it. Other materials that had not yet been filed were placed at the end of the series in chronological order.
36 Boxes. 18 Linear Feet. Folders 3113-4257.
Series VI focuses on the effects of herbicide and pesticide use on the environment, as well as the challenge of safely disposing or destroying surplus quantities of these chemicals. The series is divided into three subseries.
Series VI. Subseries 1. Southeast Asia, 1963-1980.
Folders 3113-3140. This small subseries contains documents arranged by Dr. Young under the headings: "Review of Vietnam Program" and "Evaluated Effects of Chemicals in Southeast Asia." The majority of documents are technical reports describing the vegetation of Vietnam and analyzing the United States' herbicide spraying program there. Arrangement is chronological.
Series VI. Subseries 2. Environmental Fate of Phenoxy Herbicides/Dioxin, 1941-1986.
Folders 3141-3585. Subseries 2 consists of journal articles, book chapters, and conference papers on herbicides and the interaction of these chemicals with water, soil, air, and plant and animal life. Arrangement is alphabetical by author last name, as Dr. Young originally organized the documents.
Series VI. Subseries 3. Plants, Soil and Disposal of Herbicides, 1942-1988.
Folders 3586-4257. Faced with the disposition of 2.3 million gallons of Agent Orange, the United States Air Force (USAF) conducted many different types of monitoring studies to determine the best method of disposal or destruction. Subseries 3 provides information on some of these studies, including those from test areas at Dugway Proving Ground, Utah, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, the Naval Construction Battalion Center (NCBC), Gulfport, Mississippi, and Johnston Island, Pacific Ocean. It also contains information on Project PACER HO, which involved incineration of Agent Orange at sea and was the method of destruction finally selected for surplus inventories of the herbicide.
27 Boxes. 13.5 Linear Feet. Folders 4258-5166.
Series VII begins with a set of documents, mainly journal articles, which Dr. Young arranged by author last name under the heading, "Arsenic/Cacodylic Acid and Herbicide Blue." Herbicide Blue, or Agent Blue, was an organic arsenical herbicide used extensively in South Vietnam for crop destruction and control of grassy vegetation around base perimeters. The rest of the series, beginning with folder 4801, contains documents on the phenoxy herbicides, such as Agent Orange, as well as dioxin. Documents include technical reports, trip reports, journal articles, and correspondence.
33 Boxes. 16.5 Linear Feet. Folders 5167-5840.
The series includes hearing transcripts, reports, correspondence, and journal and newspaper articles. It is divided into three subseries.
Series VIII. Subseries 1. Litigation, Hearings and Regulations, 1969-1989.
Folders 5167-5554. Subseries 1 contains documents on the ongoing efforts of the U.S. Congress, Veterans Administration, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other government agencies to control and/or monitor the use of herbicides, pesticides and other chemicals as well as to compensate those claiming adverse health effects from exposure. The subseries contains selected hearing transcripts, reports, correspondence, and journal and newspaper articles. Arrangement is chronological.
Series VIII. Subseries 2. Agent Orange Working Group (AOWG), 1961-1988 (bulk 1980s).
Folders 5555-5742. Subseries 2 provides materials related to the work of the Agent Orange Working Group (AOWG). The subseries consists primarily of minutes of AOWG meetings, reports, press releases, and correspondence. Also included are journal and newspaper articles. Of particular interest are the drafts of the proposed organization of the White House Interagency Working Group, and the Charter for the Advisory Committee on Special Studies Relating to the Possible Long-Term Health Effects of Phenoxy Herbicides and Contaminants. Arrangement is chronological.
Series VIII. Subseries 3. Veterans Administration (VA), 1978-1989.
Folders 5743-5840. A large part of Subseries 3 is concerned with the VA Advisory Committee on Health-Related Effects of Herbicides, established in 1979 to monitor the VA's continuing inquiry into the possible health effects of Agent Orange on veterans who served in Vietnam. Included are transcripts of the committee's proceedings and other correspondence and reports. The subseries also contains information on other VA activities and committees, such as the Agent Orange Projects Office, and selected VA publications, such as, The Agent Orange Review. Arrangement is chronological.
10 Boxes. 5 Linear Feet. Folders 5841-6528.
Long after the end of the Vietnam War, debate continues in the media concerning the use of defoliants in biological warfare and the long-term effects on human health and the environment. The wealth of information on these issues, and the diversity of opinions expressed by chemical manufacturers, U.S. government agencies, the scientific and legal communities, and veterans' organizations, add to the complexity of debate. Series IX provides examples of media coverage through newspaper and journal clippings. The last three boxes in the series contain scrapbooks of newspaper and magazine clippings (1956-1974) that focus on pest control and crop failures, chemical and biological warfare, and the Vietnam defoliation program using Agent Orange. Arrangement is chronological.
15 Boxes. 11 Linear Feet. Folders 6529-6584.
Much of the material in this series was donated to NAL by Dr. Young in April 2002. The series contains some memorabilia, including selected award plaques, clothing, and photographs. It includes the contents of Dr. Young's research files from his work at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, in the 1970s, and some aerial photographs of research plots at Eglin and the Naval Construction Battalion Center (NCBC), Gulfport, Mississippi, (see Series VI, Subseries 3 for more information on the NCBC). There is also a small collection of journal articles in various foreign languages with no corresponding English translation.