Daily intake of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins/polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDD/PCDFs) in foodstuffs consumed in Tarragona, Spain: a review of recent studies (2001-2003) on human PCDD/PCDF exposure through the diet

Environ Res. 2005 Jan;97(1):1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2004.01.012.


Concentrations of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDD) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDF) were measured in foodstuffs randomly acquired in various locations of Tarragona County (Catalonia, Spain) in September 2002. A total of 36 composite samples, belonging to various food groups (vegetables, fruits, meat and meat products, fish and seafood, cereals, pulses, milk, dairy products, eggs, and oils and fats) were analyzed by high-resolution gas chromatography/high-resolution mass spectrometry. The dietary intake of PCDD/Fs was subsequently determined. For calculations, recent data on consumption of the selected food items were used. Total dietary intake of PCDD/Fs for the general population of Tarragona County was estimated to be 59.6 pg I-TEQ/day (63.8 pg WHO-TEQ/day). Fish and seafood (33.7%), oils and fats (15.3%), cereals (14.4%), and dairy products (13.7%) were the most important contributors to this intake. This PCDD/F intake is notably lower than the intake estimated in 1998 for the same geographical area, 210.1 pg I-TEQ/day. The current PCDD/F dietary intake is below the tolerable intake range of 1-4 pg TEQ/kg body weight/day established by the WHO in 1998. Finally, the current intake is compared with the dietary intakes of PCDD/Fs recently (2001-2003) reported for a number of regions and countries.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Benzofurans / analysis*
  • Benzofurans / toxicity
  • Carbon Isotopes
  • Diet*
  • Dioxins / analysis*
  • Dioxins / toxicity
  • Eating
  • Food Analysis*
  • Food Contamination*
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Humans
  • Spain


  • Benzofurans
  • Carbon Isotopes
  • Dioxins