This study investigated the background levels of PCDD/Fs and dioxin-like PCBs (dl-PCBs) in fresh foods around Taiwan. In 1,029 foodstuffs, the highest PCDD/F level based on per gram fat was found in duck eggs (1.956 pg WHO-TEQ/g fat), followed by beef (1.263 pg WHO-TEQ/g fat), and egg products (1.067 pg WHO-TEQ/g fat), and the lowest was in grape seed oil (0.068 pg WHO-TEQ/g fat). The highest dl-PCB level was found in beef (0.782 pg WHO-TEQ/g fat), followed by duck eggs (0.632 pg WHO-TEQ/g fat), and mutton (0.506 pg WHO-TEQ/g fat), and the lowest was in peanut oil (0.011 pg WHO-TEQ/g fat). The average intake of boys and girls (> 6, ≤ 12 years old) were 0.70 and 0.62 pg WHO-TEQ PCDD/Fs+dl-PCBs/kg bw/day, respectively; for adolescents (> 13, ≤ 18), 0.34 (male) and 0.30 (female) pg WHO-TEQPCDD/Fs+dl-PCBs/kg bw/day, respectively; for adults (19-64), 0.33 (male) and 0.31 (female) pg WHO-TEQPCDD/Fs+dl-PCBs/kg bw/day, respectively; and for seniors (> 65), 0.42 (male) and 0.37 (female) pg WHO-TEQPCDD/Fs+dl-PCBs/kg bw/day, respectively. The greatest contribution (%) to the total daily intake came from meat fish, and fishery products, especially in adults (men: 51.6%; women: 47.5%) and seniors (men: 64.8%; women: 61.8%). In the Hsinchu-Miaoli area, PCDD/F concentrations were found the highest in beef and mutton, while in Keelung-Taipei-Taoyuan area the highest in mutton, duck, and goose. The distribution of dl-PCB concentrations in beef, mutton, and goose meat throughout Taiwan showed a similar trend with PCDD/Fs. The mean dioxin level in milk concurrently decreased with total dioxin emissions in Taiwan between 2004 and 2008. It is concluded that, generally, PCDD/Fs and dl-PCBs in food pose little health risk in Taiwan, except for occasionally high PCDD/F levels in beef and mutton. These data suggested that the environment near where the livestock was raised should be examined.

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