Study Of Dioxin-Exposed Humans 
Author Message
 Study Of Dioxin-Exposed Humans

[*********PNEWS CONFERENCES************]
PNEWS Conferences
******* PAIN Forum

Peter Montague, "Study Of Dioxin-Exposed Humans Reveals Cancer,
Birth Defects, Liver And Cardiovascular Damage." RACHEL'S
HAZARDOUS WASTE NEWS #73 (April 18, 1988), pg. 1. [From:
Environmental Research Foundation, P.O. Box 5036, Annapolis, MD

A new study of Vietnam veterans, conducted by Air Force
physicians, links dioxin exposure to increases in cancer, birth
defects, psychological damage, liver damage, cardiovascular
deterioration, and degeneration of the endocrine system.  The new
work stops short of saying dioxin exposures CAUSED the observable
health damage among dioxin-exposed vets, but it explicitly
reverses the conclusions of a 1984 Air Force study which said
dioxin exposures had been shown to be harmless.

The study is continuing, and will begin using sensitive new {*filter*}
tests to determine past exposures to dioxin; future study may be
able to pin down, or rule out, direct causal effects.  In the
meantime, advocates of mass burn incinerators and other
dioxinproducing facilities can no longer claim lack of evidence
that dioxin harms humans.  There is now tangible cause for
concern about serious effects of dioxin on humans.

The new work is part of the Air Force's ongoing study of Vietnam
veterans who participated in Operation Ranch Hand, which was a
military program spraying herbicides on the jungles of Vietnam
from 1961 to 1972, to defoliate and thus eradicate Viet Cong
hiding places. In manufacture, the herbicides (Agents Orange,
Pink, Green and Purple) were contaminated with dioxin (33 ppm to
66 ppm [parts per million]).

The study compares two groups of Vietnam veterans--one group of
1045 Ranch Hands who definitely had dioxin exposures and another
group of 773 veterans not known to have been exposed to dioxin.
In addition, 2708 wives and former wives of veterans in the two
groups participated in the study.

The study team first reviewed more than 400 published articles on
the effects of dioxin on animals and humans; from this they
derived a profile of 190 different health effects that might be
expected to be related to dioxin exposure.  They examined the
1818 study participants for these 190 health effects.


The study found that 4.59% of the Ranch Hands have some kind of
cancer, compared to 2.33% of the unexposed group.  Thus the
overall risk of cancer among the dioxin-exposed group is doubled
(risk increased by a factor of 1.97).  The greatest risk increase
is for skin cancers (where the risk is increased by a factor of
2.6), whereas the risk of "systemic cancers" (non-skin cancers)
is increased by a factor of 1.2; in other words, the
dioxin-exposed group has a 20% greater chance of getting a
non-skin cancer.

Birth Defects

Analyzing for birth defects, the study looked at children born
before the Vietnam experience and children born after Vietnam.
Prior to Vietnam, the dioxin-exposed group had born 85% as many
children with birth defects as the non-exposed group; after
Vietnam, the exposed group bore 139% as many children with birth
defects.  The earlier Air Force study had said birth defects
among dioxin-exposed families were limited to "minor skin
lesions" but the new study reverses that conclusion; 32 children
with severe defects were born to families in the exposed group,
vs. 18 in the nonexposed group. The total number of birth defects
in the two groups was: 80 with defects out of 917 total births in
the exposed group vs. 48 with defects out of 744 total births in
the non-exposed group.

Psychological Damage

Psychological testing revealed significant increases in fatigue,
anger, anxiety, and isolation among the dioxin-exposed group
compared to the non-exposed group.

Liver Functions

The new study looked at nine chemical measures of liver function
and in three categories the dioxin-exposed group showed reduced
liver functions, compared to the non-exposed group.  In addition,
among the exposed group, 16 showed enlarged livers, vs. six among
the non-exposed group. Furthermore, 13 among the exposed group
had a verifiable medical history of liver disorder other than
hepatitis, jaundice, or cirrhosis, vs. only two with such
histories among the non-exposed group.

Cardiovascular system

Heart disease rates and heart attack rates did not differ among
the two groups.  However, during physical examination, 10
different heart pulse measurements were taken in the extremities
(e.g., the ankle), and statistically significant abnormalities
were found in one or more pulses in 12.8% of the exposed group
vs. 9.4% of the nonexposed group. Abnormal pulses in the
extremities are evidence of {*filter*} circulation problems.

Endocrine system

The endocrine system is a body control system composed of a group
of glands that maintain a stable internal environment by
producing chemical regulatory substances called hormones.  Glands
that participate in the endocrine system include the pituitary,
thyroid, parathyroid and adrenal glands, as well as the pancreas,
ovaries and {*filter*}.  The new study looked at five chemical
measures of endocrine system functions.  In three of the five
measures, the dioxin-exposed group showed abnormal functioning of
the endocrine system, compared to the non-exposed group.
Functioning of the endocrine system reduces with age, but the new
study showed that, among the dioxin exposed group, functioning of
the endocrine system is being reduced much faster than among the
non-exposed group.

Thus the new study shows that, in six out of 11 areas of
suspected dioxin effects, exposed Vietnam veterans have health
problems in greater proportion than the comparison group.

The RANCH HAND STUDY (formally known as the Air Force Health
Study [AFHS]) began in 1979 and is continuing.  The most recent
publication, reviewed above, is: Richard A. Albanese, UNITED
States Air Force: Brooks Air Force Base, TX, Feb., 1988).  The
study is 34 pages long; it is available from Dr. Albanese, USAF
School of Aerospace Medicine, Human Systems Division (AFSC),
Brooks Air Force Base, TX 78235-5301; phone (512) 536-3884.  Our
thanks to Laura Petrou, legislative assistant to U.S. Senator
Thomas Daschle (South Dakota) who made the study available to us.
Ms. Petrou can be reached at (202) 224-2321.

PNEWS CONFERENCES  provide "progressive" views with an
  emphasis on justice, humanitarian positions and TRUTH. There is a
growing cancer on the InterNET which distorts the truth and spreads
vicious false propaganda about Jews and Israel. PNEWS provides a platform
to confront those lies. PNEWS is an educational forum and depository for
articles and essays from across the political spectrum since no specific
"wing" has a monopoly on the truth. PNEWS conforms to the
precepts of oppositionalism and duality of opinion.
   To subscribe to PNEWS-L [1500+ subscribers], send request to:

To subscribe to PAIN-L, all aspects of chronic pain; physical & political,
HEALTH & health-politics for physicians and patients and all
interested parties. Everyone is confronted with pain at one time or
another in their lives. This is an educational forum, NOT a chat
conference for endless banter. The primarily criteria for PAIN is to
correctly inform. [1100+ subscribers]

Nominations are now being accepted for FLAMING ASSHOLISM'S HALL-OF-SHAME:
Vote or nominate your favorite {*filter*} - SEE: "NO GIMPS ALLOWED!"
  Have a gripe against someone. Nominate them for the "Hall-Of-Shame."
"Of course fascists should have free speech. But first cut out their

The "REAL" world is full of "real pain," not "PC" bullshit. -HR-


Sun, 09 May 1999 03:00:00 GMT
 [ 1 post ] 

 Relevant Pages 

1. ARTICLE: Study Of Dioxin-Exposed Humans

2. dioxin human health (was Greenpeace leaked dioxin...)

3. ARTICLE: US Study shows how to eliminate Dioxin

4. Study: Fetuses Exposed to Toxic Chemicals

5. Plastic Wrap in a Microwave Can Expose Food to Dioxins?

6. Saccharine studies on humans

7. Ibogaine human studies

8. New Study: Predictors of Human Longevity

9. Human Longevity Studies: Blog Updated

10. A Study on a Possible Carboniferous Human Femur Fossil

11. An updated study on a possible Carboniferous Human Femur Fossil

Powered by phpBB® Forum Software