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245T is of the most toxic weed killers ever known and more commonly associated with Agent Orange. This shocking report exposes the horrifying results of Australia's government-sanctioned use of this chemical.
"Everybody got rashes, headaches, they were vomiting and passing blood", says Carl Drysdale, a former sprayer. Assured by the government that it was safe, it was common for Australian workers in the 60s and 70s to use toxic herbicides without using proper protective clothing. Since then a terrifyingly high number of these former government employees have died or become seriously ill, almost certainly as a result of their constant exposure to dioxin, a deadly chemical impurity found in herbicide 245T. With successive governments failing to deal with the problem or pay compensation, children and partners of former sprayers also believe they have been affected. "I've had some really awful things happen which were really unusual. A baby born without a brain, a baby born without kidneys", says Dr Rod Guy. Although 245T has now been banned, a lack of regulation and testing of cheap imports means potentially deadly levels of the dioxin may still be present in weed control products today.