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April 21, 1989

Dioxin Levels in Vietnam Veterans

JAMA. 1989;261(15):2201. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420150051026

To the Editor.—  I read the article entitled "Serum 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin Levels in US Army Vietnam-Era Veterans."1 I would like to compliment the authors on an excellent presentation of their material and for the obvious amount of work involved in performing such a complex experiment. I believe that the article was credible and the experiment valid.One of the weaknesses of the study, however, as the authors themselves noted, was that it contained no serum levels from the military personnel most likely to have direct contact with Agent Orange: the chemical corps. Another weakness was that the study did not mention the possibility that Agent Orange may have been metabolized into something other than 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin in the 20 years since Vietnam.