6
Epidemiologic Studies

In seeking evidence for associations between health outcomes and exposure to herbicides and TCDD (2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin), many different kinds of epidemiologic studies must be considered. Each study has varying degrees of strengths and weaknesses and contributes evidence to an association with the health outcomes considered in Chapters 7, 9, 10, and 11. The three main groups of individuals studied with respect to herbicide exposure are those with occupational, environmental, and military exposures. The historical basis for the groups studied was examined in Chapter 2 of Veterans and Agent Orange (henceforth called VAO) (IOM, 1994). A discussion of the criteria for inclusion in the review is detailed in Appendix A of VAO.

This chapter summarizes the epidemiologic studies and reports reviewed by the committee. Included are new studies published after Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 1996 (henceforth called Update 1996) (IOM, 1996), studies that were not reviewed by the committees that wrote the prior reports; and studies that have been updated since publication of Update 1996. Tables 6-1, 6-2, and 6-3 give a brief overview of the epidemiologic studies reviewed for both the prior reports and this document. The summaries include the study method used and, if available, how the study subjects were selected; how the data were collected; the inclusion criteria; and how exposure was determined. The tables also list the numbers of subjects in the study and comparison populations and provide a brief description of the study. No studies are evaluated in this chapter; rather, a methodologic framework is provided for the health outcome chapters that follow. Qualitative critique of the study design, population size, methods of data collection, case and control ascertainment, or quality of exposure assessment has been



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Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 1998 6 Epidemiologic Studies In seeking evidence for associations between health outcomes and exposure to herbicides and TCDD (2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin), many different kinds of epidemiologic studies must be considered. Each study has varying degrees of strengths and weaknesses and contributes evidence to an association with the health outcomes considered in Chapters 7, 9, 10, and 11. The three main groups of individuals studied with respect to herbicide exposure are those with occupational, environmental, and military exposures. The historical basis for the groups studied was examined in Chapter 2 of Veterans and Agent Orange (henceforth called VAO) (IOM, 1994). A discussion of the criteria for inclusion in the review is detailed in Appendix A of VAO. This chapter summarizes the epidemiologic studies and reports reviewed by the committee. Included are new studies published after Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 1996 (henceforth called Update 1996) (IOM, 1996), studies that were not reviewed by the committees that wrote the prior reports; and studies that have been updated since publication of Update 1996. Tables 6-1, 6-2, and 6-3 give a brief overview of the epidemiologic studies reviewed for both the prior reports and this document. The summaries include the study method used and, if available, how the study subjects were selected; how the data were collected; the inclusion criteria; and how exposure was determined. The tables also list the numbers of subjects in the study and comparison populations and provide a brief description of the study. No studies are evaluated in this chapter; rather, a methodologic framework is provided for the health outcome chapters that follow. Qualitative critique of the study design, population size, methods of data collection, case and control ascertainment, or quality of exposure assessment has been

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Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 1998 TABLE 6-1 Epidemiologic Studies—Occupational Exposure Reference Study Design Description Study Group (N) Comparison Group (N)a PRODUCTION WORKERS NIOSH New Studies Sweeney et al., 1996, 1997 Cross-sectional Study of numerous noncancer endpoints for liver function, gastrointestinal disorders, chloracne, serum glucose, hormone and lipid levels, and diabetes in same group as Calvert et al. (1991) 281 260 Halperin et al., 1995 Cross-sectional Study of surrogates for cytochrome P-450 induction in same group as Calvert et al. (1991) 281 260 Studies Reviewed in Update 1996 Calvert et al., 1994 Cross-sectional Study of porphyria cutanea tarda in same group as Calvert et al. (1991) 281 260 Egeland et al., 1994 Cohort Study of total serum testosterone and gondadotropin levels in chemical production workers exposed to dioxin, in same group as Calvert et al. (1991) 248 231 Studies Reviewed in VAO Sweeney et al., 1993 Cohort Peripheral neuropathy in same group as Calvert et al. (1991) 281 260 Alderfer et al., 1992 Cohort Assessment of psychological variables to determine depression in same group as Calvert et al. (1991) 281 260

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Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 1998 Reference Study Design Description Study Group (N) Comparison Group (N)a Calvert et al., 1992 Cohort Assessment of liver and gastrointestinal systems in same group as Calvert et al. (1991) 281 260 Calvert et al., 1991 Cohort Study of workers employed at one of two plants manufacturing substances contaminated with TCDD 15 years or more prior to assessment of chronic bronchitis, COPD, ventilatory function, thorax, and lung abnormalities, compared to neighborhood controls without exposure to TCDD 281 260 Fingerhut et al., 1991 Cohort Cancer mortality in male workers from 12 plants producing TCDD-contaminated chemicals (1942-1984), compared to U.S. population 5,172 — Monsanto Studies Reviewed in VAO Collins et al., 1993 Cohort Mortality of workers (through 1987) exposed and unexposed to dioxin between March 8, 1949, and November 22, 1949, as indicated by presence of chloracne, compared to local population mortality rates 122 with chloracne 632 without chloracne — Moses et al., 1984 Cohort Study of health outcomes in Monsanto workers (1948-1969) with chloracne reported as a surrogate to 2,4,5-T exposure compared to health outcomes in workers without chloracne as surrogate for no exposure 117 109 Suskind and Hertzberg, 1984 Cohort Evaluation of health outcomes (1979) at clinical examination among workers exposed to 2,4,5-T (1948-1969) compared to non-exposed workers at same Monsanto plant 204 163

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Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 1998 Reference Study Design Description Study Group (N) Comparison Group (N)a Zack and Gaffey, 1983 Cohort Study of mortality experience of all white male workers (1955-1977) employed at a Monsanto plant through Dec. 31, 1977, compared to mortality of standardized U.S. population rates 884 — Zack and Suskind, 1980 Cohort Evaluation of mortality experience among employees with chloracne exposed to TCP process accident in 1949 at Monsanto, compared to U.S. male population standard 121 — Dow New Studies Ramlow et al., 1996 Cohort Study of mortality in a cohort of workers exposed to pentachlorophenol (PCP) 770 (1) U.S. population (2) 36,804 unexposed workers Studies Reviewed in Update 1996 Bloeman et al., 1993 Cohort Additional years of follow-up of Bond et al. (1988) study cohort through 1986 878 (1) U.S. population (2) 36,804 unexposed workers Studies Reviewed in VAO Bond et al., 1989a Cohort Study of incidence of chloracne among a cohort of workers potentially exposed to TCDD, and association with other risk factors 2,072 Internal comparison Bond et al., 1989b Cohort Extension of Ott et al. (1987) study through 1984 2,187 — Bond et al., 1988 Cohort Study of mortality (through 1982) among workers potentially exposed to 2,4-D (1945-1983) compared to U.S. white males and all other male employees not exposed 878 1) U.S. white male population 2) 36,804 employees not exposed

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Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 1998 Reference Study Design Description Study Group (N) Comparison Group (N)a Bond et al., 1987 Cohort Extension of Cook et al. (1980) study, mortality through 1982 322 (1) U.S. white male population (2) 2,026 employees without chloracne Ott et al., 1987 Cook et al., 1987 Cohort Expanded Cook et al. (1986) study an additional three years, through 1982 2,187 — Sobel et al., 1987 Case-control Study of STS among Dow chemical employees (1940-1979) compared to employees without STS for possible association with several chemical exposures 14 126 Cook et al., 1986 Cohort Mortality experience (1940-1979) of men manufacturing chlorinated phenols compared to U.S. white men 2,189 — Bond et al., 1983 Cross-sectional Study of differences in workers potentially exposed and unexposed to TCDD during chemical production for (1) morbidity and (2) medical examination frequency between 1976 and 1978 (1) 183 (2) 114 (1) 732 (2) 456 Townsend et al., 1982 Cohort Study of adverse reproductive outcomes among wives of Dow chemical employees potentially exposed to TCDD (1939-1975) compared to reproductive outcomes among wives whose husbands were not exposed 370 345 Cook et al., 1980 Cohort Mortality experience (through 1978) of male workers involved m a chloracne incident (1964) from TCDD exposure, compared to mortality experience of U.S. white men 61 —

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Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 1998 Reference Study Design Description Study Group (N) Comparison Group (N)a Oft et al., 1980 Cohort Mortality experience among workers exposed to 2,4,5-T in manufacturing (1950-1971) compared to mortality experience of U.S. white men 204 — BASF New Studies Ott and Zober, 1996 Cohort Cancer incidence and mortality experience (through 1992) of workers exposed to TCDD after the BASF accident, during reactor cleanup, maintenance, or demolition; based on the cohort of Zober et al. (1990) 243 — Studies Reviewed in Update 1996 Zober et al., 1994 Cohort Morbidity experience in the same group as Zober et al. (1990) 158 161 Studies Reviewed in VAO Zober et al., 1990 Cohort Mortality experience of workers exposed to TCDD (1954-1987) at BASF plant compared to population of Federal Republic of Germany 247 — Thicss et al., 1982 Cohort Study of mortality experience among BASF employees potentially exposed to TCDD during Nov. 17, 1953, accident compared to population and other workers not exposed 74 External controls: (1) 180,000 town (2) 1.8 million district (3) 60.5 million Federal Republic of Germany (4) Two groups of 74 each from other cohort studies

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Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 1998 Reference Study Design Description Study Group (N) Comparison Group (N)a IARC New Studies Kogevinas et al., 1997 Cohort Mortality study (through 1992) of workers engaged in the production or application of phenoxy herbicides and composed of (1) the Saracci et al. (1991) cohorts, (2) the German cohorts of Becher et al. (1996), and (3) the NIOSH cohorts of Fingerhut et al. (1991) 26,615 total (21,863 exposed; 4,160 probably exposed; 592 unknown exposure) — Becher et al., 1996 Cohort Cancer mortality (through 1989) among German workers in four chemical factories exposed to 2,4,5-T and/or trichlorophenol (subcohorts I and II), and phenoxy herbicides and chlorophenols (subcohorts III and IV) 2,479 — Flesch-Janys et al., 1995 Cohort Cancer and circulatory system mortality among workers in a chemical plant in Hamburg, Germany, exposed in varying degrees to herbicides contaminated with PCDD/F 1,189 (1) population (2) 2,528 gas workers Studies Reviewed in Update 1996 Kogevinas et al., 1995 Case-control Two nested case-control studies of the relationship between STS and NHL and occupational exposures in members of the IARC cohort STS: 11 cases NHL: 32 cases 5 controls per case Kogevinas et al., 1993 Cohort Cancer incidence and mortality experience of female workers in seven countries, potentially exposed to chlorophenoxy herbicides, chlorophenols, and dioxin compared to national death rates and cancer incidence rates 701 —

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Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 1998 Reference Study Design Description Study Group (N) Comparison Group (N)a Lynge, 1993 Cohort Cancer incidence in the same group as Lynge (1985), with follow-up extended through 1987 3,390 men 1,071 women — Kogevinas et al., 1992 Cohort Study of mortality from STS and malignant lymphomas in an international cohort of production workers and herbicide sprayers (same group as Saracci et al., 1991) 14,439 (13,482 exposed 416 probably exposed 541 unknown exposure) 3,951 non-exposed employees Studies Reviewed in VAO Bueno de Mesquita et al., 1993 Cohort Mortality experience of production workers exposed to phenoxy herbicides and chlorophenols in the Netherlands compared to national rates 2,310 — Coggon et al., 1991 Cohort Mortality experience among four cohorts of workers potentially exposed (1963-1985) to phenoxy herbicides and chlorophenols compared to national (England and Wales) expected numbers and to the local population where factory is located 1,104 Factory A 271 Factory B 345 Factory C 519 Factory D — Manz et al., 1991 Cohort Mortality experience of workers (1952-1984) at Hamburg plant of Boehringer exposed to TCDD compared to national mortality and workers from another company 1,184 men 399 women (a) population (b) 3,120 gas workers Saracci et al., 1991 Cohort Study of mortality experience of 20 international cohorts of herbicide sprayers and production workers compared to mortality experience expected for the nation 16,863 men 1,527 women —

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Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 1998 Reference Study Design Description Study Group (N) Comparison Group (N)a Coggon et al., 1986 Cohort Study of mortality experience (through 1983) among workers manufacturing and spraying MCPA (1947-1975) compared to expected numbers of deaths among men of England and Wales and for rural areas 5,754 — Lynge, 1985 Cohort Study of cancer incidence among Danish workers exposed to phenoxyherbicides compared to expected results from the general population 3,390 men 1,069 women — Other Chemical Plants New Studies Tonn et al., 1996 Cohort Study of the long-term immune system effects of TCDD in industrial workers involved in production and maintenance operations at a German chemical factory producing 2,4,5-T between 1966 and 1976 11 10 Studies Reviewed in VAO Jennings et al., 1988 Cohort Assessment of immunological abnormalities among workers exposed to TCDD during accident manufacturing 2,4,5-T compared to matched controls 18 15 Thomas, 1987 Cohort Assessment of mortality experience as of Jan. 1, 1981, for white men employed in fragrance and flavors plant with possible exposure to TCDD, compared to U.S. white men and for cancers compared to local men 1,412 —

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Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 1998 Reference Study Design Description Study Group (N) Comparison Group (N)a May, 1982, 1983 Cohort Health outcomes among workers exposed and probably exposed to TCDD following a 1968 accident, compared to unexposed workers 41 exposed 54 possibly exposed 31 Pazderova-Vejlupkova et al., 1981 Descriptive Study of development of TCDD intoxication among men in Prague (1965-1968) 55 No comparison group Poland et al., 1971 Cross-sectional Assessment of PCT, chloracne, hepatotoxicity, and neuropsychiatric symptoms among 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T workers compared to other plant workers 73 total 20 administrators 11 production supervisors 28 production workers 14 maintenance workers Internal comparison Bashirov, 1969 Cross-sectional Descriptive results of examination of workers involved in production of herbicides and study of workers at examination of cardiovascular and digestive systems compared to unexposed controls 292 (descriptive) 50 (examined) 20 (examined) AGRICULTURAL/FOREST PRODUCTS Cohort Studies of Agricultural Workers New Studies Gambini et al., 1997 Cohort Cancer mortality (1957-1992) among a cohort of rice growers in the Novara Province of northern Italy 958 — Kristensen et al., 1997 Cohort Birth defects among the offspring of Norwegian farmers born after 1924 192,417 births 61,351 births

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Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 1998 Reference Study Design Description Study Group (N) Comparison Group (N)a Faustini et al., 1996 Cohort Study of immune system components and functions among farmers who mixed and applied commercial formulations containing the chlorophenoxy herbicides 2,4-D and MCPA 10 Internal comparison Studies Reviewed in Update 1996 Dean, 1994 Cohort Study of mortality from brain and hematopoietic cancers of agricultural workers compared to non-agricultural workers in Ireland (1971-1987) (population size unclear) — Morrison et al., 1994 Cohort Update of mortality experience in Wigle et al. (1990) cohort, through 1987, with addition of farmers from Alberta and Manitoba. 155,547 — Semenciw et al., 1994 Cohort Study of leukemia mortality in same group as Morrison et al. (1993) 155,547 — Blair et al., 1993 Cohort Study of causes of death, including cancer, among farmers in 23 states (1984-1988) 119,648 white men 2,400 white women 11,446 nonwhite men 2,066 nonwhite women — Semenciw et al., 1993 Cohort Study of multiple myeloma mortality of male farmers compared to male population of the three prairie provinces of Canada (1971-1987) 155,547 — Senthilselvan et al., 1992 Cross-sectional Study of the association between pesticide exposure and asthma in male farmers 1,939 No comparison group

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Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 1998 Hardell L, Eriksson M, Lenner P. 1980. Malignant lymphoma and exposure to chemical substances, especially organic solvents, chlorophenols and phenoxy acids. Lakartidningen 77:208-210. Hardell L, Eriksson M, Lenner P, Lundgren E. 1981. Malignant lymphoma and exposure to chemicals, especially organic solvents, chlorophenols and phenoxy acids: a case-control study. British Journal of Cancer 43:169-176. Hardell L, Johansson B, Axelson O. 1982. Epidemiological study of nasal and nasopharyngeal cancer and their relation to phenoxy acid or chlorophenol exposure. American Journal of Industrial Medicine 3:247-257. Hardell L, Bengtsson NO, Jonsson U, Eriksson S, Larsson LG. 1984. Aetiological aspects on primary liver cancer with special regard to alcohol, organic solvents and acute intermittent porphyria: an epidemiological investigation. British Journal of Cancer 50:389-397. Hardell L, Moss A, Osmond D, Volberding P. 1987. Exposure to hair dyes and polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins in AIDS patients with Kaposi sarcoma: an epidemiological investigation. Cancer Detection and Prevention Supplement 1:567-570. Hardell L, Eriksson M, Degerman A. 1994. Exposure to phenoxyacetic acids, chlorophenols, or organic solvents in relation to histopathology, stage, and anatomical localization of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Cancer Research 54:2386-2389. Hardell L. 1977. Malignant mesenchymal tumors and exposure to phenoxy acids: a clinical observation. Lakartidningen 74:2753-2754. [In Swedish] Hardell L. 1979. Malignant lymphoma of histocytic type and exposure to phenoxyacetic acids or chlorophenols. Lancet 1(8106):55-56. Hardell L. 1981. Relation of soft-tissue sarcoma, malignant lymphoma and colon cancer to phenoxy acids, chlorophenols and other agents. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment, and Health 7:119-130. Hayes HM, Tarone RE, Casey HW, Huxsoll DL. 1990. Excess of seminomas observed in Vietnam service U.S. military working dogs. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 82:1042-1046. Heacock H, Hogg R, Marion SA, Hershler R, Teschke K, Dimich-Ward H, Demers P, Kelly S, Ostry A, Hertzman C. 1998. Fertility among a cohort of male sawmill workers exposed to chlorophenate fungicides. Epidemiology 9(1):56-60. Henneberger PK, Ferris BG Jr, Monson RR. 1989. Mortality among pulp and paper workers in Berlin, New Hampshire. British Journal of Industrial Medicine 46:658-664. Henriksen GL, Michalek JE, Swaby JA, Rahe AJ. 1996. Serum dioxin, testosterone, and gonadotropins in veterans of Operation Ranch Hand. Epidemiology 7(4):352-357. Henriksen GL, Ketchum NS, Michalek JE, Swaby JA. 1997. Serum dioxin and diabetes mellitus in veterans of operation ranchhand. Epidemiology 8(3):252-258. Hertzman C, Teschke K, Dimich-Ward H, Ostry A. 1988. Validity and reliability of a method for retrospective evaluation of chlorophenate exposure in the lumber industry. American Journal of Industrial Medicine 14(6):703-713. Hertzman C, Teschke K, Ostry A, Hershler R, Dimich-Ward H, Kelly S, Spinelli JJ, Gallagher RP, McBride M, Marion SA. 1997. Mortality and cancer incidence among sawmill workers exposed to chlorophenate wood preservatives. American Journal of Public Health 87(1): 71-79. Hoar SK, Blair A, Holmes FF, Boysen CD, Robel RJ, Hoover R, Fraumeni JF. 1986. Agricultural herbicide use and risk of lymphoma and soft-tissue sarcoma. Journal of the American Medical Association 256:1141-1147. Hoffman RE, Stehr-Green PA, Webb KB, Evans RG. Knutsen AP, Schramm WF, Staake JL, Gibson BB, Steinberg KK. 1986. Health effects of long-term exposure to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin. Journal of the American Medical Association 255:2031-2038. Holmes AP, Bailey C, Baron RC, Bosanac E, Brough J, Conroy C, Haddy L. 1986. West Virginia Department of Health Vietnam-Era Veterans Mortality Study, Preliminary Report. Charleston: West Virginia Health Department.

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Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 1998 Huong LD, Phuong NTN. 1983. The state of abnormal pregnancies and congenital malformations at the Gyneco-Obstetrical Hospital of Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Tu Du Hospital). Summarized in: Constable JD, Hatch MC. Reproductive effects of herbicide exposure in Vietnam: recent studies by the Vietnamese and others. Teratogenesis, Carcinogenesis, and Mutagenesis 5:231-250, 1985. Ideo G, Bellati G, Bellobuono A, Mocarelli P, Marocchi A, Brambilla P. 1982. Increased urinary d-glucaric acid excretion by children living in an area polluted with tetrachlorodibenzoparadioxin (TCDD). Clinica Chimica Acta 120:273-283. Ideo G, Bellati G, Bellobuono A, Bissanti L. 1985. Urinary d-glucaric acid excretion in the Seveso area, polluted by tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD): five years of experience. Environmental Health Perspectives 60:151-157. Institute of Medicine (IOM). 1994. Veterans and Agent Orange Health Effects of Herbicides Used in Vietnam. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. Institute of Medicine (IOM). 1996. Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 1996. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. Jansson B, Voog L. 1989. Dioxin from Swedish municipal incinerators and the occurrence of cleft lip and palate malformations. International Journal of Environmental Studies 34:99-104. Jappinen P, Pukkala E. 1991. Cancer incidence among pulp and paper workers exposed to organic chlorinated compounds formed during chlorine pulp bleaching. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment, and Health 17:356-359. Jennings AM, Wild G, Ward JD, Ward AM. 1988. Immunological abnormalities 17 years after accidental exposure to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin. British Journal of Industrial Medicine 45:701-704. Kahn PC, Gochfeld M, Nygren M, Hansson M, Rappe C, Velez H, Ghent-Guenther T, Wilson WP. 1988. Dioxins and dibenzofurans in blood and adipose tissue of Agent Orange-exposed Vietnam veterans and matched controls. Journal of the American Medical Association 259:1661-1667. Kahn PC, Gochfeld M, Lewis WW. 1992a. Dibenzodioxin and Dibenzofuran Congener Levels in Four Groups of Vietnam Veterans Who Did Not Handle Agent Orange. New Jersey Agent Orange Commission. Kahn PC, Gochfeld M, Lewis WW. 1992b. Immune Status and Herbicide Exposure in the New Jersey Pointman I Project. New Jersey Agent Orange Commission. Kahn PC, Gochfeld M, Lewis WW. 1992c. Semen Analysis in Vietnam Veterans with Respect to Presumed Herbicide Exposure. New Jersey Agent Orange Commission. Kang HK, Weatherbee L. Breslin PP, Lee Y, Shepard BM. 1986. Soft tissue sarcomas and military service in Vietnam: a case comparison group analysis of hospital patients. Journal of Occupational Medicine 28:1215-1218. Kang HK, Enzinger FM, Breslin P, Feil M, Lee Y, Shepard B. 1987. Soft tissue sarcoma and military service in Vietnam: a case-control study. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 79:693-699 (published erratum appears in Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1987, 79:1173). Khoa ND. 1983. Some biologic parameters collected on the groups of people in an area affected by chemicals. Summarized in: Constable JD, Hatch MC. Reproductive effects of herbicide exposure in Vietnam: recent studies by the Vietnamese and others. Teratogenesis, Carcinogenesis, and Mutagenesis 5:231-250, 1985. Kogan MD, Clapp RW. 1985. Mortality Among Vietnam Veterans in Massachusetts, 1972-1983. Massachusetts Office of the Commissioner of Veterans Services, Agent Orange Program. Kogan MD, Clapp RW. 1988. Soft tissue sarcoma mortality among Vietnam veterans in Massachusetts, 1972 to 1983. International Journal of Epidemiology 17:39-43.

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