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Environ Sci Technol. 2010 Jul 1;44(13):5188-94. doi: 10.1021/es100282d.

Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, dibenzofurans, biphenyls, and naphthalenes in plasma of workers deployed at the World Trade Center after the collapse.

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  • 1Center for Environmental Science in Saitama, Kazo, Saitama 347-0115, Japan.


Blood plasma samples (n = 43) collected retrospectively from New York State employees and National Guard personnel who had been assigned to work in the vicinity of the World Trade Center (WTC) during the week after the collapse of the buildings were analyzed for polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polychlorinated naphthalenes (PCNs). On the basis of algorithms developed to rank individual exposures to dust and debris and to smoke, we categorized the samples as: more smoke exposure (MSE), more dust exposure (MDE), less smoke exposure (LSE), and less dust exposure (LDE). Mean concentrations of PCDDs were 1070, 223, 3690, and 732 pg/g lipid wt, and mean concentrations of PCDFs were 910, 1520, 230, and 117 pg/g lipid wt, for the MSE, MDE, LSE, and LDE groups, respectively. The concentrations of PCDFs were higher in the two "more exposure" groups than in the two "less exposure" groups. Calculated TEQ concentrations of coplanar PCBs and PCDD/Fs in plasma samples were, on average, 1.12 and 41.2 pg WHO-TEQ/g lipid wt, respectively. TEQ concentrations of PCDFs were higher than those of PCDDs in both "more exposure" groups but lower than those of PCDDs in "less exposure" groups. This result is suggestive of exposure of the WTC responders to PCDFs after the WTC collapse. PCDFs contributed the majority of TEQs and are therefore the critical dioxin-like compounds in MSE/MDE groups, whereas PCDDs are the critical compounds in the LSE/LDE groups.

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