Thursday, October 16, 2014

Predictors for dioxin accumulation in residents living in Da Nang and Bien Hoa, Vietnam, many years after Agent Orange use


Blood dioxin levels were measured from residents in Bien Hoa and Da Nang, Vietnam.
Blood dioxin levels were related to individual and environmental risk factors.
Fish farming was associated with higher blood dioxin levels at both locations.
Blood dioxin levels were positively correlated with living on flooded property.
Da Nang dioxin sites are being cleaned up so exposure should decrease.


Agent Orange (AO) was the main defoliant used by the US in Vietnam from 1961 to 1971; AO was contaminated with dioxin (2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, or TCDD). Three major dioxin “hot spots” remain from previous AO storage and use at former US bases at Bien Hoa, Da Nang, and Phu Cat, posing potential health risks for Vietnamese living on or near these hot spots. We evaluated potential risk factors contributing to serum TCDD levels in Vietnamese residents at and near contaminated sites in Da Nang and Bien Hoa, Vietnam. We used multiple linear regression to analyze possible associations of blood dioxin concentrations with demographic, socioeconomic, lifestyle, and dietary risk factors for residents living on or near these hot spots. For the Da Nang study, fish farming on the site, living on property flooded from monsoon rains, and age were among the factors showing significant positive associations with serum TCDD concentrations. For the Bien Hoa study, fish farmers working at this site and their immediate family members had significantly higher serum TCDD concentrations. Our results suggest that water-related activities, especially fish-farming, at the hot spots increased the risk of exposure to dioxin.

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