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J Occup Environ Med. 2009 Sep;51(9):1049-56. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181b571ae.

Mortality in workers exposed to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin at a trichlorophenol plant in New Zealand.

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  • 1Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.



We examined the overall mortality rates of 1599 workers employed between 1969 and 1988 at a New Zealand site, which manufactured trichlorophenol.


We developed exposure estimates for 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin from a serum dioxin evaluation and used standardized mortality ratios (SMR) and proportional hazards models to evaluate risk from exposure.


Among exposed workers, deaths from total cancers (SMR = 1.1, 95% confidence intervals [CI]: 0.9-1.4), non-Hodgkin lymphoma (SMR = 1.6, 95% CI: 03-4.7), and ischemic heart disease (SMR = 1.1, 95% CI: 0.9-1.5) were slightly greater than expected, whereas deaths from lung cancer (SMR = 0.8, 95% CI: 0.4-1.5) were less than expected. We observed no significant trends with exposure levels.


Although this study is small, we found no increasing trend of cancer or disease risk with increasing 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin exposure with the possible exception of all cancers combined.

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