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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Chemical and Biological Residues in Foods

Location: Animal Metabolism-Agricultural Chemicals Research

Title: Dioxin, furan, PCB, and PBDE levels in U.S. foods: Survey trends and consumer exposure

Authors
item Lupton, Sara
item O'Keefe, Margaret -
item Basu, Pat -

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 20, 2013
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) and Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) have conducted statistical surveys for dioxins (PCDDs, PCDFs, and PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers every 5 years since the mid-1990s (mid-1990s, 2002-3, 2007-8). In 2012-13 another survey is being conducted. From these data, background levels of dioxins in domestic beef, pork, and poultry are determined. Due to the structure of the surveys, temporal trends can be tracked and sources of dioxins in the food supply can be investigated. From the mid-1990s to 2008, PCDD, PCDF, and PCB levels in beef, pork and poultry have either declined or remained static. The current survey data will also be compared to past results to determine temporal trends. Animal food products may also contain PBDEs, however most of the available data on food-animal sources of PBDEs are from small market basket surveys and do not provide insights into long-term trends. Since the 2002-3 survey, levels of PBDEs in U.S. beef, pork, and poultry have also been analyzed to provide evidence of, or to refute, the effectiveness of the phase out of PentaBDE and OctaBDE production. In 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency released their chronic oral reference dose (RfD) for 2,3,7,8-TCDD of 0.7 pg/kg-day for human exposure. Survey data, along with consumption data for beef, pork, and poultry, are used to calculate consumer exposure estimates to PCDDs, PCDFs, PCBs, and PBDEs. The calculations were also used to determine dioxin trigger levels (2 pg TEQ/g fat for beef and 4 pg TEQ/g fat for poultry and pork) used for the survey that would initiate on-farm investigations by FDA for samples above the trigger levels. Currently no poultry or pork samples have been found above trigger levels. There have been 5 beef samples found to be above the trigger level of 2ppt and are under investigation by the FDA. Current beef, pork, chicken and turkey dioxin levels are 0.088-6.46 pg TEQ/g fat, 0.051-0.36 pg TEQ/g fat, 0.046-0.39 pg TEQ/g fat, and 0.052-1.32 pg TEQ/g fat, respectively. Comparing the medians of these data to previous surveys, there are decreases in the overall levels of dioxins over the past 5 years.

Last Modified: 10/31/2014
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