Our Stolen Futurea book by Theo Colborn, Dianne Dumanoski, and John Peterson Myers


  van Birgelen, APJM, KM Fase, J van der Kolk, H Poiger, A Brouwer, W Seinen and M van den Berg. 1996. Synergistic effect of 2,2',4,4',5,5'-Hexachlorobiphenyl and 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-Dioxin on hepatic porphyrin levels in the rat. Environmental Health Perspectives 104:550-557.



van Birgelen et al. report dramatic synergistic interaction between a PCB congener, PCB 153, and dioxin.

They studied the impact of several PCB congeners and dioxin on hepatic porphyrin accumulation in rats. Hepatic porphyrin accumulation has been observed in people following a hexachlorobenzene poisoning in SE Turkey in the late 1960s, in industrial workers producing certain herbicides, in the aftermath of the Seveso, Italy, dioxin accident and in the Taiwanese Yu-Cheng PCB poisoning incident. It has also been observed under field conditions (Herring gulls in the Great Lakes) and laboratory experiments following exposure to dioxin and related compounds. van Birgelen et al. studied the effect of PCBs and dioxins on hepatic porphyrin accumulation in rats in a lab diet experiment. They found a dose-dependent increase in hepatic porphyrin accumulation after administration of the contaminants: "this study clearly shows that porphyrins accumulate in the liver after subchronic treatment with TCDD (dioxin), PCB 126, or PCB 156 in rats.

PCB 153 by itself caused no increase in accumulation. Maximum increases for dioxin alone were about twice control levels. But combining PCB 153 and dioxin caused increases 800 times above control levels.






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