Hello again Bob,
Thank you for quite an interesting question. I've done professional
environmental work for several decades, now, so this is certainly a
topic of real concern and interest to me.
Here are abstracts or excerpts from reports that mention a connection
between dioxin exposure and problems in or near the eye. Most of the
information pertains to observations on human beings accidentally
exposed, but I've included some material on animal studies as well.
As I said earlier, three have been very comprehensive reviews of the
literature on possible health effects from dioxin exposure, and I have
seen no mention of a link between such exposures and cancers of the
I hope this information fully meets your needs. If you have any
questions -- or need additional information -- let me know by posting
a Request for Clarification, and I'll be happy to assist you further.
A search on [ eye dioxin ] and [cornea dioxin ] at the PubMed medical
literature database at:
uncovered several articles of interest. Here are the links to
abstracts of the articles, along with relevant excerpts:
Fukuoka Igaku Zasshi. 2001 May; 92(5): 149-57.
[The changes of PCBs and PCDFs as well as symptoms in Yusho patients for 30 years]
[Note: The original article is in Japanese]
Masuda Y, Haraguchi K, Kuroki H, Ryan JJ.
Two mass-food poisonings called Yusho and Yucheng occurred in Western
Japan and Taiwan in 1968 and 1979, respectively. Blood samples from 5
Yusho patients and 3 Yucheng patients were collected several times
from 1982 to 1998 and from 1980 to 1995, respectively, and analyzed
for PCB and PCDF congeners...Typical Yusho symptoms of acneiform
eruption, dermal pigmentation and increased eye discharge were very
gradually recovered with lapse of ten years. However, enzyme and/or
hormone mediated sign of high serum triglyceride, high serum thyroxin,
immunoglobulin disorder and others are persistently maintained for 30
[This is by the same lead author as above, and is in English]
Chemosphere. 2001 May-Jun; 43(4-7): 925-30.
Fate of PCDF/PCB congeners and change of clinical symptoms in patients
with Yusho PCB poisoning for 30 years.
Daiichi College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Fukuoka, Japan.
Two mass-food poisonings called Yusho and Yucheng occurred in Japan
and Taiwan in 1968 and 1979, respectively....Typical Yusho symptoms of
acneiform eruption, dermal pigmentation and increased eye discharge
were very gradually recovered with lapse of several years.
The U.S Environmental Protection Agency has conducted a massive review
of the health effects literature on dixoin, and has compiled it in
several key documents available at the EPA website's dioxin page:
A summary document on helath effects is here:
Exposure and Human Health Reassessment of
and Related Compounds
Part III: Integrated Summary and Risk Characterization for
2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-Dioxin (TCDD) and Related Compounds
and includes the following excerpts on eye-related effects:
--Subsequent to exposure to 2,3,7,8-TCDD, monkeys developed chloracne
and swelling of the meibomian glands, modified sebaceous glands in the
The full report on health effects of dioxin can be found here:
Part II: Health Assessment of 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-Dioxin
(TCDD) and Related Compounds
and contains some more detailed information:
--In the monkey, several additional symptoms have been registered,
such as periorbital
edema, conjunctivitis, and thickening of the meibomian glands followed
by loss of the eyelashes, facial hair, and nails... These symptoms are
similar to those observed in cases of human intoxication, such as from
occupational exposure, the Seveso incident, and the Yusho and Yu-Cheng
toxic oil intoxications, the latter involving exposure to PCBs and
--The most common clinical symptoms included acne-form eruptions and
follicular accentuation, pigmentation of the skin and nails, swelling
of the eyelids and increased
discharge, nausea, headaches, and numbness of the limbs...
--In March 1949, an explosion of a TCP reaction kettle in a chemical
plant in Nitro, West
Virginia, and the subsequent cleanup exposed approximately 450 workers
to 2,3,7,8-TCDDcontaminated substances. Examination of the workers in
1949 revealed a number of acute symptoms characterized by skin, eye
and respiratory tract irritation, headache, dizziness and nausea...
--Dermal effects other than chloracne attributed to 2,3,7,8-TCDD
exposure include a variety
of symptoms and conditions that occurred less frequently than
chloracne but appeared in several groups subsequent to acute and
continuous exposure to 2,3,7,8-TCDD-contaminated TCP and 2,4,5-T. Two
reports indicated that after acute episodes of exposure, e.g.,
accidents, individuals complained of red and irritated eyes,
conjunctivitis, and blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids)... Other
investigators also found cases of eyelid cysts several months after
acute exposure...and up to 25 years after exposure...
As far as I can tell, that pretty much covers the territory on dioxin
exposure and health effects related to the eye.
As I said above, if you need any additional clarification or more
information, just let me know.
All the best.
search strategy: searched PubMed, the EPA website, and Google for [
eye dioxin ] and [ cornea dioxin ] and [ eyeball dioxin ].