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Chemosphere. 2009 Sep;76(11):1457-63. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2009.07.010. Epub 2009 Aug 8.

Intake and body burden of dioxin-like compounds in Germany: the INES study.

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  • 1Department of Environmental Health, Bavarian Health and Food Safety Authority, Veterinärstrasse 2, D-85764 Oberschleissheim, Germany.


The human body burden of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (dl-PCBs) and the dietary intake of dl-PCB were investigated in Germany. In total, 50 adults (between 14 and 60 years old) were recruited, and duplicate diet samples were collected over seven consecutive days from each participant. Blood samples were acquired from 48 participants. Seventeen PCDD/Fs and 12 dl-PCBs (non- and mono-ortho congeners) were measured in the blood, and all dl-PCBs were measured in duplicate diet portions. Daily intake via food was calculated by multiplying the measured concentrations by the consumption data. Median (95th percentile) concentrations in the blood (expressed as WHO-TEQ) for PCDD/Fs, non-ortho PCBs and mono-ortho PCBs were 10.1 (25.0) pg g(-1) lipid, 4.2 (14.9) pg g(-1) lipid and 4.5 (14.2) pg g(-1) lipid, respectively. The contribution of mono-ortho PCBs and non-ortho PCBs to total TEQ was 25% and 24%, respectively. For each study subject, median intake levels for seven consecutive days were calculated. From these data, the median (95th percentile) daily intake via food was 0.12 (0.32) pg TEQ kg(-1)b.w. for non-ortho congeners and 0.06 (0.12) pg TEQ kg(-1)b.w. for the mono-ortho congeners. PCB 126, PCB 118 and PCB 156 accounted for about 93% of the total PCB intake. Our study indicates that dl-PCB exposure in adults consuming a normal mixed diet is quite low at present in Germany. The median and maximum daily intake contributed to 10% and 25% to the tolerable daily intake recommended for total PCDD/Fs and dl-PCBs.

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