Groundbreaking Test Finds Dioxins in Food

For the first time, U.S. food has been tested for dioxins
and related compounds. The study is reported in the May 2001
issue of the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health.
Food samples from five cities representing different
geographic U.S. locations — the East, South Atlantic, South,
Midwest and West — were analyzed for measurable amounts
of the compounds. Twelve compounds were studied, including
dioxins, dibenzofurans, DDE, coplanar, and mono-ortho and
di-ortho polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

In all, 110 food samples were measured. It is interesting to read
about how the food groups fared under this scrutiny, and
which age groups are the most vulnerable.

Food Contamination Results in Parts Per Trillion (ppt)

** 1.7 ppt (the highest)
Farm-grown freshwater fish fillet wet, or whole, weight

** 1.1 ppt

** O.33 to 0.51 ppt, wet weight
Ocean fish, beef, chicken, pork, sandwich meat, eggs, cheese, and ice cream, as well as human milk, were in the range

** 0.16 ppt
Whole dairy milk

** 0.09 ppt (the lowest)
Simulated vegan diet

The World Health Organization Dioxin Toxic Equivalent(TEQ)

** Breast-fed infants during first year: 42 pg/kg body weight

** Children aged 1-11 yr: 6.2 pg/kg body weight

** Males and females aged 12-19 yr: 3.5 and 2.7 pg/kg body weight, respectively

** Adult men and women aged 20-79 yr: 2.4 and 2.2 pg/kg body weight, respectively

** Eighty yr and older: 1.9 pg/kg body weight

Dioxins Highest Contaminant in Adults

For adults, dioxins, dibenzofurans, and PCBs contributed 42%, 30%, and 28% of dietary TEQ intake, respectively.

For all ages, males measured more TEQ than females.

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