Serum dioxin, chloracne, and acne in veterans of operation ranch hand

Joseph E. Burton, Joel E. Michalek, Alton J. Rahe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The possible relationship between exposure to Agent Orange and its contaminant, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (dioxin), during the Vietnam War and chloracne was investigated. The index subjects were veterans of Operation Ranch Hand, the unit responsible for aerial herbicide spraying in Vietnam from 1962 to 1971. Other Air Force veterans who served in Southeast Asia during the same period, but who were not involved with spraying herbicides, served as comparisons. None of the Ranch Hand veterans were diagnosed with chloracne; therefore, we restricted our analyses to acne. We found no meaningful or consistent association between dioxin exposure and prevalence of acne without or with regard to anatomical location. These results suggested that exposure of Ranch Hand veterans to dioxin was insufficient for the production of chloracne or perhaps the exposure may have caused chloracne that resolved and was currently undetectable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-204
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Environmental Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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