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Dioxin-like PCBs in the environment - human exposure and the significance of sources.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date10/1998
JournalChemosphere
Journal number8
Volume37
Number of pages16
Pages1457-1472
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Dioxin-like PCBs represent an important component of the ΣTEQ in many environmental media. Specifically, in animal produce and in fish PCBs dominate the ΣTEQ ingested by humans. This in turn leads to high background body burdens in humans with PCB-TEQ greater than that associated with PCDD/Fs. High fish consumers are apparently subject to elevated TEQ exposure from dioxin-like PCBs. This has important implications for exposure assessment studies which have previously only been concerned with PCDDs and PCDFs. Unlike PCDD/Fs, dioxin-like PCBs are not controlled within the food chain. Sources and pathways of exposure are poorly defined. Aroclor formulations and their subsequent usage are considered to be the most important sources in terms of human exposure to some TEF-rated congeners, notably PCB-118, PCB-156 and part of PCB-126. Emissions from combustion sources contribute additional PCB-126. More research is needed to place these compounds in an integrated risk evaluation framework.