We measured levels of PCDDs, PCDFs, non-ortho, and mono-ortho substituted PCBs in 106 US Air Force Vietnam veterans, participants of the Air Force Health Study (AFHS) who attended the final medical examination in 2002. Twelve veterans were Ranch Hands involved in aerial spraying of herbicides in Vietnam (1962-1971), and 94 were Comparisons who flew transport missions in Southeast Asia (SEA) during the same time period. These veterans had no previous 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) measurement because they had not attended any of the previous AFHS examinations, or their previous measurements were missing or not valid. The mean TCDD levels in 2002 were 1.7 pg/g lipid in Comparisons and 5.5 pg/g lipid in Ranch Hands. The mean PCDD toxic equivalent - TEQ (1997) in Comparisons was 12.6 pg/g lipid, 5.4 pg/g lipid for PCDFs, 5.2 pg/g lipid for non-ortho PCBs, and 9.4 pg/g lipid for mono-ortho PCBs, with a total mean TEQ (1997) of 32.6 pg/g lipid. Corresponding mean TEQs in Ranch Hands were 15.5 pg/g lipid for PCDDs, 4.6 pg/g lipid for PCDFs, 2.2 pg/g lipid for non-ortho PCBs, and 9.3 pg/g lipid for mono-ortho PCBs, yielding the total mean TEQ (1997) of 31.6 pg/g lipid. Using the re-evaluated 2005 WHO TEFs, the total mean TEQs (2005) decreased by about 28% in both Comparisons and Ranch Hands, to 23.6 pg/g lipid and 22.8 pg/g lipid, respectively. This was mainly due to changes of TEFs for the group of mono-ortho PCBs, which decreased the mono-ortho PCBs TEQs by almost 90% in both Ranch Hands and Comparisons.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis