Available medical and morbidity surveillance findings from 1976 to 1978 for two employee cohorts potentially exposed to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) were compared with those of matched unexposed employees. The medical surveillance findings were derived from a screening programme offered to all active employees and included an analysis of various medical history questions and blood chemistry results. Group medical insurance claims served as the source of morbidity surveillance data and the period prevalence of selected diseases was analysed. Few significant differences between the exposed and unexposed were detected. Among the cohort of employees potentially exposed during the manufacture of 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5,-T), a significantly greater frequency of x-ray proved ulcer was reported and significantly more members of this group had diseases of the digestive system diagnosed. Such findings were absent in the more highly TCDD-exposed cohort engaged in 2,4,5-trichlorophenol production, making it unlikely that dioxin was a cause.
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