Market basket study on dietary intake of PCDD/Fs, PCBs, and PBDEs in Finland

Hannu Kiviranta, Marja-Leena Ovaskainen, Terttu Vartiainen
Environment International 2004, 30 (7): 923-32
We have measured the concentrations of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDD/F), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) in 10 market baskets consisting of almost 4000 individual food samples representing 228 different food items, and also in the total diet basket. Lower bound concentrations of PCDD/Fs ranged between 0.0057 and 5.6 pg/g fresh weight in the market baskets and the corresponding values for PCBs from 39 to 25,000 pg/g. The fish basket contributed most to the concentrations of dioxins and PCBs, and also to concentrations of PBDEs in which the lower bound range was from 0.82 to 850 pg/g. We also assessed the average daily intakes of these substances by the Finnish adult population. The average daily intake of sum of PCDD/Fs and PCBs as WHO toxic equivalents was assessed to be 115 pg, which was 1.5 pg WHO-TEq/kg body weight using an average mean weight of 76 kg for the general population in Finland. The contribution of fish to the intake of PCDD/Fs was between 94% and 72%, depending on whether lower or upper bound concentrations were used. With respect to PCBs, the contribution of fish was 80%. The calculated intake of PBDEs of 44 ng/day was comparable to intake assessments from other countries. Fish also contributed most to the PBDE intake, but there was some other source of PBDEs that distinguishes the exposure to PBDEs from exposure to PCDD/Fs and PCBs. This additional source seemed to be found in the market basket that included beverages, spices, and sweets.

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