Hepatic and gastrointestinal effects in an occupational cohort exposed to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-para-dioxin.
A medical survey was conducted among 281 workers who had been employed at at two chemical manufacturing facilities in an effort to evaluate the effect of occupational exposure to 2,3,7,8- tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (1746016) (TCDD) at these sites. The workers had been involved more than 15 years earlier in the manufacture of sodium-trichlorophenol, 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic- ester or hexachlorophene at a facility in Newark, New Jersey or Verona, Missouri. Matched referents were selected from individuals without reported occupational exposure to TCDD contaminated substances, living in the same neighborhood. A mean serum TCDD level, lipid adjusted, of 220 picograms/gram of lipid was detected in the exposed workers which was significantly higher than the 7 picogram/gram lipid in the unexposed comparisons. The exposed group had a statistically significantly elevated risk for an out of range gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT) level. A statistically significant relationship was found between TCDD exposure and lifetime alcohol consumption. The risk among the alcohol consuming workers for an out of range GGT increased with increasing TCDD levels. The authors conclude that there was an association between prior occupational exposure to chemicals contaminated with TCDD and an elevation in GGT, but there was no finding of an association between TCDD exposure and clinical hepatic and gastrointestinal disease.