This essay examines how toxins are visually represented in news and popular media.
More specifically, it analyzes the function of visual narratives, identity, place, and
uncertainty in the construction of the controversial toxicant Agent Orange, a defoliant
used by the US military during the Vietnam War to reduce jungle cover and destroy
cropland causing devastating health and environmental effects. Toxins present an
interesting challenge for visual construction in that they are often invisible and banal in
their esthetics. The essay concludes with five observations for understanding the relation-
ship between images and toxins.