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Employment in the manufacture of the herbicide 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T) is associated with potential exposure to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) and elevated serum lipid TCDD concentrations can be measured in workers for decades after terminated occupational exposure. As part of an epidemiological study of 1599 workers employed at a facility in New Plymouth, New Zealand that manufactured 2,4,5-T, serum TCDD concentrations measured in blood samples from 346 workers were used with work history records and a simple pharmacokinetic model in a linear regression to estimate dose rates associated with specific job exposure groups at the facility. The model was used to estimate serum TCDD concentration profiles over time for each individual in the full study group and accounted for 30% of the observed variance in TCDD concentrations in the serum donor subgroup. The model underestimated measured concentrations substantially for eleven individuals in the study group; examination of questionnaire data revealed a variety of activities apart from routine employment at the facility that may have contributed to the measured serum TCDD concentrations. Estimated serum TCDD concentrations were below 300 p.p.t. for all individuals in the cohort over the entire study time period, lower than estimates for other 2,4,5-T worker populations. This finding is consistent with occupational medicine records, which indicated that no cases of chloracne were ever diagnosed among workers employed on the site. The modeled exposures will be used in an evaluation of mortality patterns of workers at this facility.


Lesa L Aylward, Kenneth M Bodner, James J Collins, Michael Wilken, David McBride, Carol J Burns, Sean M Hays, Noel Humphry. TCDD exposure estimation for workers at a New Zealand 2,4,5-T manufacturing facility based on serum sampling data. Journal of exposure science & environmental epidemiology. 2010 Jul;20(5):417-26

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PMID: 19491942

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