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Frequently asked questions about dioxins and PCBs in food

BfR FAQ of 4 December 2018

Dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are environmental contaminants which accumulate primarily in fatty food of animal origin due to their lipophilic properties. Dioxins are not purposely manufactured, they occur as by-products during combustion processes in particular. They can also be formed during forest fires and volcanic eruptions.

By contrast, PCBs have been used for a variety of purposes, for example as non-combustible liquids in heat exchangers, transformers and electrical capacitors or as softening agents in paints, sealing compounds and plastics. Placing PCBs on the market has been prohibited in most countries since the 1980s.

People take in dioxins and PCBs mainly through animal-based foods.

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04.12.2018
BfR FAQ
Frequently asked questions about dioxins and PCBs in food 37.2 KB
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