Review of employment and chemical production records at a Missouri chemical plant and of questionnaires with self‐reported occupational exposure to 2,3,7,8‐tetrachloro‐dibenzo‐p‐dioxin (2,3,7,8‐TCDD) for 16 Missouri workers has explained the wide diversity of 2,3,7,8‐TCDD levels previously reported in the workers' adipose tissue (3.5‐750 ppt on whole‐weight basis). We show that the highest exposures reported to date in the United States occurred in a group of nine production workers who made products contaminated with 2,3,7,8‐TCDD. The nine workers had adipose tissue levels with a mean of 246 ppt and a range of 42 to 750 ppt. Seven persons who worked at the same chemical company, but not in the 2,3,7,8‐TCDD‐contaminated process, had a mean of 8.7 ppt and a range of 3.5 to 25.8 ppt. We also report serum levels of 2,3,7,8‐TCDD in these individuals. The adipose tissue from a subset of four production workers with elevated levels of 2,3,7,8‐TCDD and seven Missouri residents with normal 2,3,7,8‐TCDD levels was also analyzed for other isomers of the PCDDs and PCDFs. The mean adipose tissue level of 2,3,7,8‐TCDD in the subset of production workers was 45 times higher than the mean level in the unexposed Missouri residents, but similar levels of the other PCDDs and PCDFs were found in both groups.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- adipose tissue
- production workers