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J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2014 Nov;24(6):588-94. doi: 10.1038/jes.2013.70. Epub 2013 Oct 23.

Serum TCDD and TEQ concentrations among Seveso women, 20 years after the explosion.

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Center for Environmental Research and Children's Health (CERCH), School of Public Health, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, California, USA.
Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of Milano-Bicocca, School of Medicine, Hospital of Desio, Desio-Milano, Italy.
Division of Environmental Health Laboratory Science, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.


The Seveso Women's Health Study (SWHS) is a historical cohort study of the female population residing near Seveso, Italy, on 10 July 1976, when a chemical explosion resulted in the highest known residential exposure to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). Individual TCDD concentration was measured in serum collected near the time of the explosion, and in 1996, we collected adequate blood for TCDD and total dioxin toxic equivalent (TEQ) measurement. Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, dibenzofurans, and biphenyls were measured in 1996 serum for a sample (n=225, 23%) of the SWHS cohort and WHO 2005 TEQs were calculated. We examined characteristics that predict 1996 TCDD concentrations and estimated TCDD elimination half-life over the 20-year period since the explosion. Median lipid-adjusted TCDD and total TEQ concentrations in 1996 serum were 7.3 and 26.2 p.p.t., respectively. Initial 1976 TCDD and age at explosion were the strongest predictors of 1996 TCDD. The TCDD elimination half-life was 7.1 years for women older than 10 years in 1976, but was shorter in those who were younger. Twenty years after the explosion, TCDD concentrations in this SWHS sample, the majority of who were children in 1976, remain elevated relative to background. These data add to the limited data available on TCDD elimination half-life in children.

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