Monday, April 25, 2016

Study of dioxins shows levels are increasing in grains

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Studies have shown increasing traces of dioxins in grains, fruits and fats in recent years, professor from National Cheng Kung University’s Research Center for Environmental Trace Toxic Substances said.
The center carried out a food monitoring project from 2004 to 2012, commissioned by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, which examined dioxin residue in seafood, eggs, fats, meat, dairy products, grains, fruits and vegetables.
Center director Lee Ching-chang (李俊璋), who led the project, said human exposure to dioxins is mainly through food consumption.
The survey showed that daily exposure to dioxins and dioxin-like compounds from food in Taiwan is about 0.35 picograms per kilogram (pg/kg) of body weight — less than the estimated daily intake of dioxins set by the WHO at 1 to 4pg/kg of body weight per day.
The survey showed that traces of dioxin residue in meat, eggs, dairy products and vegetables sold at traditional markets or supermarkets in the nation have significantly reduced, much like in other nations.
However, traces of dioxins in grains, fruit and fats remained about the same or slightly higher, he said.
Lee said the research team suspects the reason for the higher levels in fruit and grains is because they are mostly grown in southern Taiwan, where the nation’s iron and steel industries — sources of dioxin-like compounds — are mainly located.
Another reason might be because many fruits and oil (fats) products are imported.
Crabs and large offshore fish, such as tuna, shark, swordfish, cod, salmon and Spanish mackerel, had the highest levels of dioxins and dioxin-like compounds among all types of food, Lee said.
Lee said people can prevent excessive intake of dioxins by eating a balanced diet and not relying on any one food every day, especially large offshore fish.
He suggested eating no more than 120g of large offshore fish every week.

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