Agent White

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Defoliation agent spraying in Vietnam

Agent White is the code name for a herbicide used by the U.S. military in its herbicidal warfare program during the Vietnam War. The name comes from the regulatory requirements of identifying each container of the various herbicides through the addition of colored stripes. Orange, Purple, Blue, and White were colors used by the manufacturers to ensure that the contents were easily identifiable in shipment and use. Colors were selected by the U.S. Government. Largely inspired by the British use of herbicides and defoliants during the Malayan Emergency, it was one of the so-called "rainbow herbicides".

Agent White is a 4:1 mixture of 2,4-D and picloram. Agent White did not contain dioxin, which was a contaminant in some herbicide mixtures. Agent White was a proprietary product of the Dow Chemical Company.

Agent White was often used when Agent Orange was not available, including for several months after the use of Agent Orange was halted in April 1970. Approximately 5.4 million US gallons (20,000 m3) of Agent White were used in Vietnam between 1966 and 1971.[1] In addition the US Military tested Agent White, Tordon 101 and picloram in varying concentrations at test sites in the US and Puerto Rico in the 1960s.[2]

Under the brand name Tordon 101, Dow AgroSciences has commercialized a similar product containing a mixture of 2,4-D and picloram.[3][4][5][6]


  1. ^ Stellman, Jeanne et al. The extent and patterns of usage of Agent Orange and other herbicides in Vietnam. Nature. Vol 422. pg 681
  2. ^ Agent Orange: Herbicide Tests and Storage in the U.S. Veterans Administration Website Retrieved 2010-06-14
  3. ^ Alvin L. Young. The History, Use, Disposition and Environmental Fate of Agent Orange. Springer. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-387-87486-9. 
  4. ^ Committee to Review the Health Effects in Vietnam Veterans of Exposure to Herbicides; Institute of Medicine (1994). Veterans and Agent Orange: Health Effects of Herbicides Used in Vietnam. National Academies Press. p. 90. ISBN 978-0-309-55619-4. 
  5. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-02-26. Retrieved 2013-07-21. 
  6. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-02-26. Retrieved 2013-07-21. 
  • Durkin, Patrick R. (June 2003). "Picloram Revised Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessment". USDA, Forest Service. 
  • "Agent White". Project Censored. 1982. Archived from the original on 2011-07-15. Retrieved 2011-03-10.