STUDY OBJECTIVE--The aim was to trace 84 cases of jaundice that occurred following accidental ingestion of methylene dianiline (MDA) in Epping in 1965, and to look at long term health effects. DESIGN--The original case notes of the cases were used to identify the patients. Subsequent tracing procedures included local general practitioners, the Central NHS Registry, electoral rolls, and company records. SETTING--This was a community based survey. MAIN RESULTS--The health status of 68 (81%) of the group was established with 18 deaths. Of the 50 cases known to be alive, 58% completed a health questionnaire. The causes of death were unremarkable except for one case of carcinoma of the biliary tract. Two surviving cases had suffered retinal pathology. Four other surviving cases had had a further, perhaps unrelated, episode of jaundice. CONCLUSIONS--Although the dose and route of administration in the epidemic differed from occupational exposure, this follow up study a generation on provides little, if any, evidence of long term health sequelae. Nevertheless, in the absence of well documented exposure and health effects data, such accidental poisonings with proven animal carcinogens warrant long term follow up. The identified cohort will be the subject of further study.
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