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Epidemiologic Study of a Population Previously Exposed to Hexachlorobenzene.

Gocmen-A; Cripps-D; Peters-H; Bryan-GT; Morris-CR
NIOSH 1980 May:46-52
An epidemiologic study of the effects of exposure to hexachlorobenzene (118741) (HCB) was conducted. A population in eastern Turkey was exposed inadvertently to HCB during 1956 to 1959 by ingesting seed wheat treated with HCB to control a fungus. Exposed persons were examined clinically during the initial exposure period, and follow-up studies were conducted on over 100 of the exposed survivors 20 years later. Clinical symptoms were recorded, and HCB and porphyrin concentrations were determined during the follow-up study. Many exposed persons developed symptoms typical of HCB poisoning about 6 months after ingestion of the treated grain, and about 14 percent of the exposed adults and children died during the acute exposure phase. Infant mortality within the first 2 years of life was high in children born to mothers exposed to HCB. Clinical symptoms of HCB poisoning still were present in survivors 20 years later, including hyperpigmentation, hirsutism, cutaneous scarring, small stature and small hands, painless arthritis, enlarged liver, and enlarged thyroid. Preliminary results showed significant amounts of fecal and urinary porphyrins still being excreted by exposed individuals as well as HCB in maternal milk. The authors conclude that HCB is accumulated in body tissues and fat stores for at least 20 years after initial exposure.
Fungicides; Health-surveys; Adipose-tissue; Body-retention; Epidemiology; Medical-examinations;
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Proceedings of the First NCI/EPA/NIOSH Collaborative Workshop: Progress on Joint Environmental and Occupational Cancer Studies, May 6-8, 1980, Rockville, Maryland, H. F. Kraybill, I. C. Blackwood, and N. B. Freas, Eds. National Cancer Institute, Environmental Protection Agency, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health