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Article
March 18, 1988

Dioxins and Dibenzofurans in Blood and Adipose Tissue of Agent Orange—Exposed Vietnam Veterans and Matched Controls

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ (Dr Kahn); the Department of Environmental and Community Medicine, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey—Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, NJ (Dr Gochfeld); the Department of Organic Chemistry University of Umeä, Sweden (Mr Nygren, Ms Hansson, and Dr Rappe); Barnert Memorial Hospital Center, Paterson, NJ (Dr Velez and Ms Ghent-Guenther); and the New Jersey State Commission on Agent Orange, Trenton (Mr Wilson). Dr Velez is now in private practice and Ms Ghent-Guenther is now with the Hackensack (NJ) Medical Center.

From the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ (Dr Kahn); the Department of Environmental and Community Medicine, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey—Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, NJ (Dr Gochfeld); the Department of Organic Chemistry University of Umeä, Sweden (Mr Nygren, Ms Hansson, and Dr Rappe); Barnert Memorial Hospital Center, Paterson, NJ (Dr Velez and Ms Ghent-Guenther); and the New Jersey State Commission on Agent Orange, Trenton (Mr Wilson). Dr Velez is now in private practice and Ms Ghent-Guenther is now with the Hackensack (NJ) Medical Center.

JAMA. 1988;259(11):1661-1667. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03720110023029
Abstract

Vietnam veterans who were heavily exposed to Agent Orange exceeded matched control subjects in both blood and adipose tissue levels of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) but not in the levels of the 12 other 2,3,7,8-substituted dioxins and dibenzofurans that were detected. Since only TCDD among these compounds was present in Agent Orange but all are present in the population of the industrialized world, it is likely that the elevated TCDD levels arose from wartime exposure. The high correlation (r= +.89) of blood with adipose tissue level suggests that there may be a mobile equilibrium between them and that blood measurement could replace adipose tissue measurement of TCDD levels, making the collection of human data less invasive.

(JAMA 1988;259:1661-1667)

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