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Title: Health effects three years after potential exposure to the toxic contaminants of an electrical transformer fire

A medical surveillance program has been established for 482 persons who were potentially exposed to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dibenzo-p-dioxins, and dibenzofurans from an electrical transformer fire in a Binghamton, NY office building in 1981. Vital Record and Cancer Registry data, medical records, and mail questionnaires were used to assess mortality, symptomatology, cancer incidence, and reproductive events through 1984. The numbers of deaths, cancers, fetal deaths, and infants with low birth weight or congenital malformations were similar to those expected on the basis of age- and sex-specific rates for upstate New York and other comparison populations. Two suicides were observed compared with 0.31 expected, but the difference was not statistically significant. After adjustment for possible confounders, persons with the greatest degree of potential exposure were significantly more likely than those with less exposure to report unexplained weight loss (relative risk (RR) = 12.80), muscle pain (RR = 5.07), frequent coughing (RR = 4.14), skin color changes (RR = 3.49), and nervousness or sleep problems (RR = 3.19). The possibility of recall bias and the intervening effects of stress, however, weaken the conclusion that toxic chemicals caused the symptomatology. Exposure-related systemic disorders, e.g., chloracne or peripheral neuropathy, were not diagnosed by personalmore » physicians; however, some persons refused to release their medical records because of ongoing litigation. The findings are consistent with those of our earlier assessment.« less
Authors:
; ; ; ;  [1]
  1. (New York State Department of Health, Albany (USA))
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
5477545
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Archives of Environmental Health; (USA); Journal Volume: 44:4
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
63 RADIATION, THERMAL, AND OTHER ENVIRON. POLLUTANT EFFECTS ON LIVING ORGS. AND BIOL. MAT.; BENZOFURANS; TOXICITY; CHLORINATED AROMATIC HYDROCARBONS; DIOXIN; FIRES; INDOOR AIR POLLUTION; NEOPLASMS; NEW YORK; OCCUPATIONAL DISEASES; OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURE; TRANSFORMERS; AIR POLLUTION; AROMATICS; DISEASES; ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT; EQUIPMENT; FEDERAL REGION II; FURANS; HALOGENATED AROMATIC HYDROCARBONS; HETEROCYCLIC COMPOUNDS; NORTH AMERICA; ORGANIC CHLORINE COMPOUNDS; ORGANIC COMPOUNDS; ORGANIC HALOGEN COMPOUNDS; ORGANIC OXYGEN COMPOUNDS; POLLUTION; USA 560300* -- Chemicals Metabolism & Toxicology