Age- and concentration-dependent elimination half-life of 2,3,7,8,-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin in Seveso children

Brent D. Kerger, Hon Wing Leung, Paul Scott, Dennis J. Paustenbach, Larry L. Needham, Donald G. Patterson, Pier M. Gerthoux, Paolo Mocarelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Objective: Pharmacokinetic and statistical analyses are reported to elucidate key variables affecting 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) elimination in children and adolescents. Design: We used blood concentrations to calculate TCDD elimination half-life. Variables examined by statistical analysis include age, latency from exposure, sex, TCDD concentration and quantity in the body, severity of chloracne response, body mass index, and body fat mass. Participants: Blood was collected from 1976 to 1993 from residents of Seveso, Italy, who were < 18 years of age at the time of a nearby trichlorophenol reactor explosion in July 1976. Results: TCDD half-life in persons < 18 years of age averaged 1.6 years while those ≥ 18 years of age averaged 3.2 years. Half-life is strongly associated with age, showing a cohort average increase of 0.12 year half-life per year of age or time since exposure. A significant concentration-dependency is also identified, showing shorter half-lives for TCDD concentrations > 400 ppt for children < 12 years of age and 700 ppt when including adults. Moderate correlations are also observed between half-life and body mass index, body fat mass, TCDD mass, and chloracne response. Conclusions: Children and adolescents have shorter TCDD half-lives and a slower rate of increase in half-life than adults, and this effect is augmented at higher body burdens. Relevance: Modeling of TCDD blood concentrations or body burden in humans should take into account the markedly shorter elimination half-life observed in children and adolescents and concentration-dependent effects observed in persons > 400-700 ppt.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1596-1602
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental health perspectives
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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