The mortality experience of workers exposed to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin in a trichlorophenol process accident

Epidemiology. 1993 Jan;4(1):7-13. doi: 10.1097/00001648-199301000-00003.


Epidemiologic studies on dioxin, specifically 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), have not consistently found an increased cancer risk. This study examines mortality rates for 754 employees at a chemical plant after an accident in 1949 in which 122 workers developed chloracne from high exposure to TCDD. We also examined exposure to 4-aminobiphenyl, a potential bladder carcinogen. Although the numbers are small, and confounding factors cannot be ruled out, workers exposed to 4-aminobiphenyl who developed chloracne from the accident had increased mortality rates from soft tissue sarcoma, bladder cancer, and respiratory cancer. All soft tissue sarcomas occurred among workers with potential 4-aminobiphenyl exposure, whereas no soft tissue sarcomas occurred among workers with TCDD exposure alone. In these workers, exposure to TCDD alone at levels great enough to cause chloracne was not associated with increased cancer rates.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Occupational / mortality*
  • Acne Vulgaris / chemically induced
  • Acne Vulgaris / mortality
  • Aminobiphenyl Compounds / poisoning
  • Carcinogens
  • Cause of Death*
  • Chemical Industry
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Lung Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Neoplasms / mortality
  • Occupational Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Occupational Diseases / mortality
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins / poisoning*
  • Sarcoma / chemically induced
  • Sarcoma / mortality
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / mortality
  • Survival Rate
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / mortality


  • Aminobiphenyl Compounds
  • Carcinogens
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins
  • 4-biphenylamine