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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Food Animal Metabolism Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #408013

Research Project: Detection and Fate of Environmental Chemical and Biological Residues and their Impact on the Food Supply

Location: Food Animal Metabolism Research

Title: Dietary exposure levels to polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, polychlorinated dibenzofurans and non-ortho-polychlorinated biphenyls in U.S. meat, poultry, and siluriform fish from 2018-2019

item Lupton, Sara
item OCHOA, CRISTIAN - Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS)
item DOMESLE, ALEXANDER - Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS)
item DUVERNA, RANDOLPH - Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS)

Submitted to: Food Additives & Contaminants. Part A: Chemistry, Analysis, Control, Exposure & Risk Assessment
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/15/2024
Publication Date: 1/25/2024
Citation: Lupton, S.J., Ochoa, C., Domesle, A., Duverna, R. 2024. Dietary exposure levels to polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, polychlorinated dibenzofurans and non-ortho-polychlorinated biphenyls in U.S. meat, poultry, and siluriform fish from 2018-2019. Food additives & contaminants. Part A: Chemistry, analysis, control, exposure & risk assessment.

Interpretive Summary: Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins/furans (PCDD/Fs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are environmental contaminants classified as persistent organic pollutants (POPs) by the Stockholm Convention. PCDD/Fs are waste products from industrial applications such as incineration processes. PCBs, however, were man-made and introduced into different industrial and consumer products. PCDD/Fs and PCBs have the ability to accumulate in fat. As a result, consumers are exposed to these compounds through meat products regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture-Food Safety and Inspection Service. The FSIS and Agricultural Research Service have conducted surveys every 5 years of fat samples from cattle, swine, chickens, and turkeys directly from animal processing facilities over the last two decades. Data from the most recent survey was used to assess consumer exposure using the average and 90th percentile contaminant levels in cattle, swine, chickens, turkeys, and catfish. Overall, on average consumer exposure from any one animal class is low when compared to the not to exceed oral exposure recommendations from the US EPA. Even non-lean beef which would contain higher dioxin levels were well below the US EPA reference dose for all age groups.

Technical Abstract: Daily dietary exposure estimates from beef, pork, chicken, turkey, and siluriform fish were calculated using toxic equivalency (TEQ) data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s survey of dioxins and dioxin like compounds (DLCs) in the domestic meat supply and consumption data. Exposure estimates for the whole population and age groups were based on mean consumption of a commodity and mean or 90th percentile TEQ dioxin levels from the survey. Ratios of the exposure estimates to the U.S. EPA oral reference dose (RfD) of 0.7 pg TEQ/kg bw/day were calculated to determine if domestic meat might contribute materially to consumer exposure. In general, normal consumption of lean beef, pork, chicken, and turkey will not cause exposures exceeding the RfD. Non-lean meats will have higher dioxin levels as dioxins accumulate in fat, therefore consumption of non-lean meat might cause higher exposure than compared to lean meat. However, on a mean basis, none of the exposure estimates for non-lean beef, pork, chicken, or turkey exceeded the RfD for any of the age groups. For some age groups, especially toddlers, there are commodities such as non-lean beef in the 90th percentile of dioxin TEQs and siluriform fish that might exceed the RfD on occasion.