Chloracne, goiter, arthritis, and anemia after polychlorinated biphenyl poisoning: 14-year follow-Up of the Taiwan Yucheng cohort

Environ Health Perspect. 1999 Sep;107(9):715-9. doi: 10.1289/ehp.99107715.

Abstract

In 1979, a mass poisoning involving 2,000 people occurred in central Taiwan from ingestion of cooking oil contaminated by polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs). We studied the prevalence of medical conditions in the exposed individuals and in a neighborhood control group. Starting with a registry of the exposed individuals from 1983, we updated the addresses of exposed individuals and identified a control group matched for age, sex, and neighborhood in 1979. In 1993, individuals 30 years of age or older were interviewed by telephone. We obtained usable information from 795 exposed subjects and 693 control subjects. Lifetime prevalence of chloracne, abnormal nails, hyperkeratosis, skin allergy, goiter, headache, gum pigmentation, and broken teeth were observed more frequently in the PCB/PCDF-exposed men and women. The exposed women reported anemia 2. 3 times more frequently than controls. The exposed men reported arthritis and herniated intervertebral disks 4.1 and 2.9 times, respectively, more frequently than controls. There was no difference in reported prevalences of other medical conditions. We conclude that Taiwanese people exposed to high levels of PCBs and PCDFs reported more frequent medical problems, including skin diseases, goiter, anemia, and joint and spine diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / chemically induced*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anemia / chemically induced*
  • Arthritis / chemically induced*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Foodborne Diseases / complications*
  • Goiter / chemically induced*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls / poisoning*
  • Taiwan

Substances

  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls