Pharmacokinetics of TCDD in veterans of Operation Ranch Hand: 10-year follow-up

J Toxicol Environ Health. 1996 Feb 23;47(3):209-20. doi: 10.1080/009841096161744.


Using multiple measurements from serum collected over 10 yr (1982, 1987, and 1992), we estimated the half-life of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) in 213 veterans of Operation Ranch Hand, the Air Force unit responsible for the aerial spraying of Agent Orange in Vietnam. The potential influences of age, percent body fat, and changes in percent body fat on the half-life estimate were also examined. The mean decay rate of TCDD for these veterans is 0.0797 per year with 95% confidence interval 0.0727 to 0.0868 per year; the corresponding half-life estimate is 8.7 yr with 95% confidence interval 8.0-9.5 yr. Half-life increased significantly with increasing body fat, but not with age or relative changes in percent body fat.

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / anatomy & histology*
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Aging / metabolism
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Half-Life
  • Humans
  • Military Personnel*
  • Occupational Exposure
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins / pharmacokinetics*
  • Regression Analysis
  • United States
  • Veterans*


  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins