An Overview of the Effects of Dioxins and Dioxin-Like Compounds on Vertebrates, as Documented in Human and Ecological Epidemiology

National Center for Environmental Assessment, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, North Carolina, USA.
Journal of Environmental Science and Health Part C Environmental Carcinogenesis & Ecotoxicology Reviews (Impact Factor: 3.56). 10/2009; 27(4):197-211. DOI: 10.1080/10590500903310047
Source: PubMed


Dioxins and dioxin-like compounds are primary examples of persistent organic pollutants that induce toxicity in both wildlife and humans. Over the past 200 years these compounds have been almost exclusively generated by human activity and have left a string of disasters in the wake of their accidental release. Most recently, the contamination of the Irish pork supply with dioxins resulted in an international recall of all Irish pork products. Epidemiologic data on human and ecological dioxin exposures have revealed a common pattern of biological response among vertebrate species, which is mediated through activation of the Aryl hydrocarbon Receptor (AhR). These AhR-mediated effects include profound consequences on the vertebrate individual exposed in early life with respect to myriad developmental endpoints including neurologic, immunologic, and reproductive parameters. Humans appear to be susceptible to these effects in a manner similar to that of the laboratory and wildlife species, which have demonstrated such outcomes. Furthermore, epidemiologic data suggest that there is little or no margin of exposure for humans with respect to these developmental effects. Given these concerns, prudent public health policy should include the continued reduction of exposures.

  • Source
    • "Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxins (polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/F)) are persistent organic pollutants that can have severe adverse effects on humans (Crinnion, 2011; White and Birnbaum, 2009). These common pollutants may accumulate in fatty tissues and are known to have a long half-life (Goodman et al., 2010). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to examine the effects of in utero exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxins (polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, dibenzofurans (PCDD/F) on thyroid and growth hormone concentrations and growth in 8-year-old children. A total of 56 children (23 boys, 33 girls) were included in the study. All were stratified into high and low PCDD/F + PCB exposure groups based on maternal median indicator PCB and PCDD/F + PCB concentrations during pregnancy. Height, weight, body mass index, and thyroid and growth hormone concentrations were assessed and compared among the different exposure groups. There were no significant effects of indicator PCB or PCDD/F + PCB exposure levels on growth (height, weight, and bone age) among 8-year-old boys or girls. Boys exposed to high PCDD/F + PCB levels had significantly higher thyroxine-binding globulin (TBG) concentrations than boys exposed to low levels (P = 0.027). Girls exposed to high PCB levels had significantly lower IGF-binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) concentrations than girls exposed to low levels (P = 0.038). Low levels of in utero exposure to PCDD/F+PCB and high indicator PCB levels were significantly associated with reduced serum concentrations of IGFBP-3. High levels of in utero exposure to PCDD/F+PCB plus either high or low indicator PCB levels were significantly associated with increased serum concentrations of growth hormone, T3, T4, and TBG. These findings suggest that the level of in utero exposure to PCBs and dioxins may affect serum concentrations of growth hormone, thyroid hormones, TBG, and IGFBP-3 in 8-year-old children.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · The Journal of Toxicological Sciences
    • "Dioxins evoke a wide spectrum of adverse responses e.g. reproductive and developmental defects, immunotoxicity, hepatotoxicity and cancer in experimental animals, humans and wildlife (White and Birnbaum, 2006; Pohjanvirta and Tuomisto, 1994). Brominated diphenyl ethers have been used over 30 years as flame retardants in different materials, e.g. in furniture (polyurethane foam), wire and cable insulation (styrene copolymers), electronics, and computers (high-impact polystyrene) (Darnerud et al., 2001). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Dioxin-like chemicals and brominated flame retardants are ubiquitous in the environment, despite the introduction of international prohibitions and restrictions. These chemicals do not remain in the vicinity of their source, instead they can be transported over long distances, in fact even to pristine areas in the northern latitudes. However, there have been rather few time series experiments monitoring the trends in the levels of chlorinated and brominated forms of these chemicals in the environment. In this study, the concentrations of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and -furans (PCDDs/Fs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diethyl ethers (PBDEs) were measured in the liver and muscle of bank voles (Myodes glareolus) caught in a remote area in Finnish Lapland during 1986-2007. Five time points were selected: years 1986, 1992, 1998, 2003 and 2007. The levels of PCDDs/Fs and PCBs declined from 1986 until 2003 in both females and males, but tended to increase again in 2007. The peak levels of the most abundant PBDE congeners (PBDEs 47, 99, 100 and 153) were measured in 1998 and 2003. These results reveal that the levels of dioxin-like chemicals remain high also in rural areas in Lapland, whereas the concentrations of brominated flame retardants decreased and follow the current restriction prohibitions. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Science of The Total Environment
  • Source
    • "Therefore presence of nano-TiO 2 in marine waters and its potential interaction with organic pollutants highlight the susceptibility of marine organisms and the need of more studies on interactive effects of nano-TiO 2 with existing toxic contaminants in marine waters with particular focus on piscine models. Amon organic pollutants 2,3,7,8-TCDD is one of the most potent carcinogenic chemical, able to elicit a wide spectrum of biological effects following specific cellular pathways (Mandal, 2005; White and Birnbaum, 2009). 2,3,7,8-TCDD and other organochlorines are usually detected in marine organisms (up to pg g À1 in fish for 2,3,7,8-TCDD (Greco et al., 2010; Nunes et al., 2011) and biomagnify through trophic webs (Corsolini et al., 2002). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The present study investigated the influence of nano-TiO2 (1 mg L-1) on 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (2,3,7,8-TCDD) (46 pg L-1) bioconcentration and toxicity in the European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) during 7 days in vivo exposure. A multimarkers approach was applied in different organs: detoxification in liver; innate immunity and pro-inflammatory response and adaptive immunity in gills and spleen; genotoxicity in peripheral erythrocytes and muscle. Bioconcentration of 2,3,7,8-TCDD in presence of nano-TiO2 was investigated in liver, skin and muscle as well as interaction between nanoTiO(2) and organic pollutants in artificial sea water (ASW). Nano-TiO2 negatively influenced immune response induced by 2,3,7,8-TCDD in spleen but not in gills and reduced the DNA damage induced by 2,3,7,8-TCDD in erythrocytes. nano-TiO2 did not interfere with 2,3,7,8-TCDD detoxification and bioconcentration according to the observed no interaction of the nano-TiO2 with organic pollutants in ASW.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Environmental Pollution
Show more