Acute non-cancer mortality excess after polychlorinated biphenyls and polychlorinated dibenzofurans mixed exposure from contaminated rice oil: Yusho

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Abstract

In Japan in 1968, rice-oil contaminated by polychlorinated biphenyls and polychlorinated dibenzofurans caused severe food poisoning, termed "Yusho" (oil disease). Several previous studies attempted to evaluate the effects targeting officially-certified Yusho patients. However, these studies have several limitations such as the left-truncated nature of the registry or residual confounding arising from the referent population selection. We thus conducted an area-based standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) study using vital statistics. A severely affected area (Tamanoura area) was adopted as the exposure group, with a reference population from Nagasaki prefecture in Kyushu, which included the Tamanoura. A large number of residents in Tamanoura were exposed to the rice-oil (28% of all the certified cases as of 2009). We estimated SMRs of non-cancer and cancer diseases for the years 1968-2002. Shortly after the exposure, SMRs of all causes, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, pneumonia/bronchitis, and bronchus/lung cancer were elevated. In particular, SMRs of heart disease were 1.97 [95% confidence intervals (CI): 1.09-3.56] in 1968, 2.05 (95% CI: 1.16-3.60) in 1969, and 1.89 (95% CI: 1.05-3.41) in 1975. However, we did not observe clear increase in SMRs more than 10. years after the exposure. This study provides further evidence in Yusho, especially on acute effects on non-cancer mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3288-3294
Number of pages7
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume409
Issue number18
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 15 2011

Keywords

  • Chlorinated dibenzofurans
  • Food contamination
  • Mortality
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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