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An Epidemiologic Study of Populations Previously Exposed to Hexachlorobenzene.

Peters HA; Cripps DJ; Gocmen A; Bryan GT; Erturk E; Dogramaci I; Morris CR
NIOSH 1982 Apr:194-199
An epidemiological study of a population that had been previously exposed to hexachlorobenzene (118741) (HCB) was conducted. The study group consisted of 155 patients in 13 villages in eastern Turkey who were selected from among 4000 persons poisoned by ingesting HCB treated seed grain between 1956 and 1958. The patients had been monitored since 1977. The major persisting clinical symptoms included generalized hyperpigmentation, marked scarring over areas that previously had been photosensitized, thickened and tightened skin, hypertrichosis, colic, weakness, paresthesias, arthritic changes, and sensory shading. Thirty percent of the patients had thyroid adenomas. Sixty nine percent of the patients who were prepubertal at the time of exposure developed small hands and 47 percent of these were of small stature. A total of 184 pregnancies occurred in 42 females. Adverse outcomes included 15 fetal deaths and 31 postnatal deaths. Milk samples from 40 patients and 45 nonporphyric subjects contained an average HCB concentration of 0.29 parts per million (ppm) with a standard deviation of 0.50ppm. Three patients who had been previously treated with EDTA showed normal fecal and urine porphyrin excretion and significantly less hyperpigmentation and scarring than most untreated patients. Seven patients still had active porphyria with a mean uroporphyrin concentration of 259.5 micrograms per liter (microg/l). Uroporphyrin excretion by unexposed subjects averaged 9.35microg/l. The results of a 90 day subchronic feeding study of HCB in rats, mice, and hamsters were presented. The biological halftimes of HCB in adipose tissue ranged from 41 to 53 days and varied with dose and species. HCB did not affect growth. HCB induced hepatosplenomegaly and congestion in the gastrointestinal tract and other abdominal and thoracic organs and degenerative changes in the renal tubule epithelial lining. The lesions were more prominent in male animals. A discussion session followed the presentation.
Chlorinated-hydrocarbon-pesticides; Epidemiology; Developmental-disorders; Humans; In-vivo-studies; Laboratory-animals; Clinical-symptoms; Porphyrins; Body-fluids; Toxic-effects; Long-term-study;
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings;
Fiscal Year
Source Name
Proceedings of the Second NCI/EPA/NIOSH Collaborative Workshop: Progress on Joint Collaborative and Occupational Cancer Studies, September 9-11, 1981, Rockville, Maryland
Page last reviewed: February 18, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division