Cancer in a young population in a dioxin-contaminated area

A. C. Pesatori, D. Consonni, A. Tironi, C. Zocchetti, A. Fini, P. A. Bertazzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An industrial accident in Seveso, Italy, in 1976, caused contamination of the residential community with 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). We investigated cancer occurrence in the first post-accident decade (1977-1986) among nearly 20 000 subjects aged 0-19 years. People who left the area were actively followed with a 99% follow-up rate. For reported cancer cases confirmation was obtained through consultation with original medical records. Two ovarian cancers were observed versus none expected. A suggestive increase was seen for Hodgkin's lymphoma (relative risk [RR] = 2.0; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.5-7.6). Myeloid leukaemia showed a clear, but not statistically significant increase (RR = 2.7; 95% CI = 0.7-11.4). The most prominent result concerned thyroid cancer, not just for the magnitude of the increase (two cases, RR = 4.6; 95% CI = 0.6-32.7), but also for its consistency with experimental findings and previous observations in humans. Any conclusive interpretation would be premature because of the short time since initial exposure, ecological definition of exposure status, and limited number of events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1010-1013
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


Dive into the research topics of 'Cancer in a young population in a dioxin-contaminated area'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this