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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Animal Metabolism-Agricultural Chemicals Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #363393

Research Project: Environmental Chemical Residues and Their Impact in the Food Supply

Location: Animal Metabolism-Agricultural Chemicals Research

Title: Levels and trends of dioxins, dioxin-like compounds, and PBDEs in the U.S. domestic meat supply, mid-1990s to 2019

item Lupton, Sara
item KISHORE, RITA - Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS)
item OU, OLIVER - Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS)
item JOHNSTON, JOHN - Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS)

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/26/2019
Publication Date: 8/25/2019
Citation: Lupton, S.J., Kishore, R., Ou, O., Johnston, J.J. 2019. Levels and trends of dioxins, dioxin-like compounds, and PBDEs in the U.S. domestic meat supply, mid-1990s to 2019 [abstract]. 39th International Symposium on Halogenated Persistent Organic Pollutants (Dioxin 2019), August 25-30, 2019, Kyoto, Japan. Talk No. 4C2-PM1-01.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has conducted a survey of dioxin and dioxin-like compound (PCDDs, PCDFs, and PCBs) residues in the domestic meat supply every 5 years since the mid-1990s (mid- 90s, 2002-03, 2007-08, 2012-13). An additional survey is currently being conducted for 2018-19. Surveys are conducted to determine background levels, track temporal trends, and uncover sources, if any, of dioxins and dioxin-like compounds in domestic beef, pork, and poultry. There are no maximum residue levels in the US for PCDD/PCDF/PCB levels in food, but there are regulatory limits in other countries. Additionally, USDA-Agricultural Research Service has conducted surveys of polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) levels in meat and poultry in these samples. Except for these PBDE surveys, most data on PBDEs are from market basket surveys. Data from these surveys also are used to estimate human exposure to dioxins, dioxin-like compounds, and PBDEs in conjunction with consumer consumption information. Materials and Methods: All surveys were conducted using the same methodologies, except for the first survey in the mid-1990s which collected less samples. Briefly, 510 total adipose samples are collected by federal inspectors from US slaughter facilities on a monthly basis over approximately a 1 year period. The major animal classes for meat and poultry are represented. Samples are analyzed using US EPA methods 1613 and 1614. PCDD/PCDF/PCB TEQs are calculated for reporting purposes. Results and Discussion: Current level ranges are 0.11 – 14.34, 0.03 – 3.80, 0.02 – 2.04, 0.06 – 1.25, and 0.12 – 1.06 pg TEQ/g lipid for beef, pork, chicken, turkey, and dairy cow, respectively. Preliminary median levels of PCDDs/PCDFs/PCBs for beef, pork, chicken, turkey, and dairy cow are 0.67, 0.09, 0.09, 0.23, and 0.28 pg TEQ/g lipid, respectively. Comparison of the current median levels to the previous survey in 2012-13, shows a 3.3 to 10% decrease from 2012-13 to 2018-19 for pork, chicken, and turkey PCDD/PCDF/PCB levels and an increase in beef levels. However, none of the differences are significant. Using the average levels of 1.77, 0.37, 0.17, and 0.29 pg TEQ/g lipid for beef, pork, chicken, and turkey, the average non-lean and lean exposures can be calculated for human consumption. For beef, the average non-lean and lean consumption would be 0.26 and 0.08 pg TEQ/kg body weight(bw)-day, respectively. The average consumption of PCDD/PCDF/PCBs from pork, chicken, and turkey is less than from beef. The average exposure to PCDDs/PCDFs/PCBs from meat is less than the US EPA chronic oral reference dose (RfD) of 0.7 pg TEQ/kg bw-day for human exposure. Levels of PCDDs/PCDFs/PCBs are low in US meat and pose little to no risk for exposure from consumption of meat.