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Updated Mortality Analyses of Pernis Epidemiological Data on Human Exposures to Aldrin and Dieldrin

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An extensive clinical and epidemiological study of workers engaged in the manufacturing and formulation of aldrin and dieldrin, the Pernis study, provides occupational hygiene and biological monitoring data on individual exposures over the years of employment and provides the opportunity to investigate dose response relationships for these chemicals. The human epide miological mortality data on these workers, who were exposed to fairly substan tial lifetime average daily doses of aldrin and dieldrin, suggest that low dose exposures do not significantly increase human mortality and may even de crease the human mortality hazard rate. While hormesis from low dose expo sure to aldrin and dieldrin is not statistically significant, it is observed in the raw data and in the best fitting dose response models. The decrease in risk suggests increased survival time at low doses of aldrin and dieldrin. Using an upper bound on cancer potency based on mouse liver tumors, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated that lifetime average daily doses (LADDs) of 0.0000625 and 0.00625 µg/kg body weight/day would correspond to increased cancer risks of 0.000001 and 0.0001, respectively. However, the best estimate from the Pernis epidemiological data is that LADDs of 0.0000625 and 0.00625 µg/kg body weight/day correspond to no increase in cancer risk and a decrease in the probability of mortality from all causes by the age of 70 years. At low doses of aldrin and dieldrin, the estimated decrease in mortality in a reference period of 70 years is more than 1000 times larger than the U.S. EPA's upper bound on the increase in the lifetime probability of cancer.

Keywords: aldrin; dieldrin; epidemiology; hormesis; mortality; occupational exposure

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Sielken, Inc., Bryan TX 77802 2: Dermigen Consulting Group, Smithville, TX 78957 3: Shell International B.V., 2501 AN Den Haag, The Netherlands

Publication date: February 1, 1998


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