Fort Detrick tested Agent Orange, new report reveals

A new Army report has found that Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland tested an estimated 16.82 pounds of Agent Orange and other defoliants between 1944 and 1951 along with other tests, including a truck-mounted spray tower.

The search report through the archives was requested after local residents grew worried that the past testing of Agent Orange might be linked to heightened cancer cases in Frederick, the Frederick News Post reports.

The Chemical Warfare Service at Fort Detrick in 1944 gave the research branch of the plant "the mission of developing chemical agents to destroy or reduce the value of crops," according to the report, the Frederick News Post reports. This mission led to the plant's creation of chemicals in the Agent Orange family.

These tests were performed on six foot by 18 foot plots between 1944 and 1951. The chemicals were applied through handheld sprayers with light metal frames. Wind-resistant cloth was placed between each plot to keep the experimental data consistent. This also prevented chemicals from blowing off Army grounds.

Agent Orange was also tested between August 1961 and June 1963, though that information is still classified.

Disability claims are currently being paid to veterans who served at Fort Detrick at the time as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has acknowledged that the tests were a cause of health issues.