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Food Chem Toxicol. 2008 Sep;46(9):3163-71. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2008.07.002. Epub 2008 Jul 15.

Evolution of the dietary exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in Catalonia, Spain.

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School of Medicine, Rovira i Virgili University, San Lorenzo 21, 43201 Reus, Spain.


The concentrations of 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were determined in samples of foodstuffs widely consumed by the population of Catalonia, Spain. All samples were randomly acquired in 12 cities of Catalonia between March and June of 2006, and analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The dietary intake of total and carcinogenic PAHs was estimated for various age/gender groups of population. In order to determine the temporal trend on the dietary exposure to PAHs, the current results were compared with those of a previous survey (2000). The highest individual PAH levels corresponded to phenanthrene (29.66 microg/kg), naphthalene (25.87 microg/kg) and fluoroanthene (13.66 microg/kg), while the lowest levels were benzo[a]pyrene (1.28 microg/kg), benzo[k]fluoranthene (1.31 microg/kg) and indeno[1,2,3-c,d]pyrene (1.44 microg/kg). According to food groups, the highest levels of total PAHs were detected in meat and meat products (25.56 microg/kg), oils and fats (23.48 microg/kg), and cereals (20.44 microg/kg). For an average male adult (70-kg body weight), the current dietary intake of the sum of PAHs was higher (12.0 microg/day) than that found in our 2000 survey (8.4 microg/day).

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