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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DIOXINS AND OTHER ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINANTS IN FOOD

Location: Animal Metabolism-Agricultural Chemicals Research

Title: New and Old POP (PCDD/FS, PCBS, and PBDES) in U.S. Foods: Levels, Trends, and Implications for Human Exposure

Author
item Huwe, Janice

Submitted to: International Symposium on Halogenated Environmental Organic Pollutants
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: July 13, 2010
Publication Date: August 30, 2010
Citation: Huwe, J.K. 2010. New and old POP (PCDD/FS, PCBS, and PBDES) in U.S. foods: levels, trends, and implications for human exposure. 30th Annual International Symposium on Halogenated Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), September 12-17, 2010, San Antonio, TX. Available: http://www.xcdtech.com/dioxin2010/pdf/1063.pdf.

Interpretive Summary: The concentrations of several historic pollutants, i.e. polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, polychlorinated dibenzofurans, and polychlorinated biphenyls, along with a newer class of pollutant, the polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), were measured in domestic meat and poultry samples collected in 2002 and 2008. The meat and poultry samples included beef, pork, chicken, and turkey and were collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to be representative of the typical consumption of these foods in the United States. A comparison of the data from the two collection periods showed declining trends for all of the pollutants. The historic pollutants decreased 6 – 25% in beef, chicken, and turkey; pork levels showed no change but remained at the lowest level. The PBDE pollutants showed a larger decrease of 50 – 80% in each food category. The reason for the large decrease in PBDEs was most likely due to their removal from production in the U.S. in 2004. These declining trends in food illustrate the effectiveness of regulations and surveillance programs and most likely will result in corresponding declines in human levels of these pollutants.

Technical Abstract: The concentrations of several historic persistent organic pollutants (POPs), i.e. polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, polychlorinated dibenzofurans, and polychlorinated biphenyls, along with a newer class of POPs, the polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), were measured in domestic meat and poultry samples collected in 2002 and 2008. The meat and poultry samples included beef (steers/heifers), market hogs, young chickens, and young turkeys and were collected as part of a statistically-based survey of dioxins by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Comparison of the data from the two collection periods shows a declining trend for each of these pollutant classes. The median concentration of dioxin-like compounds decreased 6 – 25% in beef, chicken, and turkey; pork levels showed no change but remained at the lowest level. Since PBDEs were removed from production in the U.S. in 2004, the mean PBDE concentrations decreased 50 – 80% in each production class. These declining trends in food illustrate the effectiveness of regulations and surveillance programs and may result in corresponding declines in human levels.

Last Modified: 9/29/2014
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