Article: Case Study

Directions: Read the short article and answer the reflective question within your online collaborative tool.

Share the following case study with students:

One notorious case recently in the news illustrates a single dose that had a chronic effect—many years long, in fact.

In 2004, Viktor Yushchenko was a candidate in the Ukrainian presidential election. He was deliberately poisoned with a very high dose of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), a very potent form of dioxin.

The effects of such a high-dose dioxin poisoning, like in similar accidental exposures, are characterized by a severe acne and other lesions on the face (along with other severe health effects). Apparently, the aim of the poisoning was to disfigure candidate Yushchenko. Nevertheless, he eventually won the election.

Gradually Mr. Yushchenko has made a recovery, but even today his appearance reflects the high levels of TCDD that remain in his body—thousands of times higher than normal.


Reflective Question:

Why do victims of TCDD poisoning still carry such high levels of the toxin even years after one large exposure?

Everyday Toxicology Student Resources