Dioxines: wat zijn de risico's en hoe kun je ze meten?

Naar dioxines en de gezondheidsrisico's daarvan is veel onderzoek gedaan. Een goed overzicht hiervan en de meest gestelde vragen over dioxines zijn te vinden op www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles

Dit is een site van de Amerikaanse overheid waarin van circa 300 belangrijke toxische stoffen uitgebreide samenvattingen van de literatuur en wet- en regelgeving ('toxicology profiles') zijn gemaakt. Uit de meest gestelde vragen hierbij het antwoord op de vraag. Op de US site is een uitgebreid document met veel literatuurverwijzingen te vinden.

How can CDDs affect my health?

The most noted health effect in people exposed to large amounts of 2,3,7,8-TCDD is chloracne. Chloracne is a severe skin disease with acne-like lesions that occur mainly on the face and upper body. Other skin effects noted in people exposed to high doses of 2,3,7,8-TCDD include skin rashes, discoloration, and excessive body hair.

Changes in blood and urine that may indicate liver damage also are seen in people. Exposure to high concentrations of CDDs may induce long-term alterations in glucose metabolism and subtle changes in hormonal levels.

In certain animal species, 2,3,7,8-TCDD is especially harmful and can cause death after a single exposure. Exposure to lower levels can cause a variety of effects in animals, such as weight loss, liver damage, and disruption of the endocrine system.

In many species of animals, 2,3,7,8-TCDD weakens the immune system and causes a decrease in the system's ability to fight bacteria and viruses. In other animal studies, exposure to 2,3,7,8-TCDD has caused reproductive damage and birth defects.

Some animal species exposed to CDDs during pregnancy had miscarriages and the offspring of animals exposed to 2,3,7,8-TCDD during pregnancy often had severe birth defects including skeletal deformities, kidney defects, and weakened immune responses.


Is there a medical test to show whether I've been exposed to CDDs?

Tests are available to measure CDD levels in body fat, blood, and breast milk, but these tests are not routinely available. Most people have low levels of CDDs in their body fat and blood, and levels considerably above these levels indicate past exposure to above-normal levels of 2,3,7,8-TCDD. Although CDDs stay in body fat for a long time, tests cannot be used to determine when exposure occurred.