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December 11, 2004

Ukraine candidate 'was poisoned'

Topics: International News

BBC World News-UK reports:

Ukrainian opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko's mystery illness was caused by poisoning, his Vienna doctors say.

The doctors said extensive tests showed a form of dioxin had been used, leaving Mr Yushchenko's face disfigured.

They described the poisoning as serious and said that if left untreated it could have killed him.

Mr Yushchenko, 50, was taken ill in September as he campaigned for disputed elections that have now been declared invalid because of irregularities.

(...) Analysts say he would have to dispel any doubts about his health before becoming president.

(...) "There were high concentrations of dioxin, most likely orally administered."

(...) It is still not clear whether the poisoning was deliberate, though Dr Zimpfer said it was likely to have been caused by "a third party".


Click image to enlarge.

(...) The question of who was responsible was a matter for the judicial authorities, he said.

(...) Dr Zimpfer said the substance was soluble and could have been administered in something like soup.

(...)Mr Yushchenko's blood and tissue registered concentrations of dioxin 1,000 times above normal levels.  Read all of the article...

Although Dioxins are known to be common pollutants that are produced as the result of many types of industrial processes, it's unusual for someone to receive such a large dose since most commonly it is a low-level dosage that is received over a long period of time.

In a May 1985 study involving rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta), consumption of food containing commercial polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) mixtures, some pure polychlorobiphenyl congeners, 2,3,7,8- tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), and 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzofuran (TCDF) caused the same clinical toxic manifestations and histopathologic lesions, although the potencies of the toxicants covered a range of five orders of magnitude.

Of particular interest to Mr Yushchenko is the fact that recovery from poisoning by 3,4,3',4'-tetrachlorobiphenyl (34TCB) or TCDF was rapid, whereas recovery from poisoning by Aroclor 1242, 3,4,5,3', 4', 5'-hexachlorobiphenyl (345HCB) or TCDD(Dioxin) was protracted, if it occurred at all. Of course we haven't begun to talk about the carcinogenic aspects of his problem.  Environ Health Perspect. 1985 May;60:77-88   PMID: 3161723

Update:   Petrified Truth cross-posted on this topic and you should read his post.

Posted by Hyscience at December 11, 2004 4:22 PM

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