Estimation of daily intake of organohalogenated contaminants from food consumption and indoor dust ingestion in RomaniaEstimation of daily intake of organohalogenated contaminants from food consumption and indoor dust ingestion in Romania
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences. Pharmacy
Research group
Toxicological Centre
Publication type
Easton, Pa,
Source (journal)
Environmental science and technology / American Chemical Society. - Easton, Pa
44(2010):16, p. 6297-6304
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
University of Antwerp
We estimated human exposure to organohalogenated contaminants (OHCs), including organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), such as hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), DDT and metabolites, hexachlorobenzene, and chlordanes, but also polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), through food consumption (mainly food of animal origin) and indoor dust ingestion in Romania. A total of 71 food samples (meat, diary products, vegetable cooking oil, and eggs from urban supermarkets and rural areas) and 18 indoor dust samples were collected from Iasi, Eastern Romania. HCHs and DDTs were the most prevalent OCPs in both food and dust samples. Higher levels of OCPs were measured in food samples collected from rural areas compared to those from urban supermarkets, except milk-based products for which no significant differences could be recorded. However, levels of contamination with HCHs in milk-based products were occasionally higher than current European maximum residue levels (MRLs). Above-MRL levels of DDTs were also recorded in eggs from rural areas. In dust, DDTs (median concentration of 1050 ng/g) were the most prevalent contaminants and p,p′-DDT was consistently the main contributor of sum DDTs, with a contribution between 50 and 75%. Surprisingly, OCPs, mainly DDT, were found at elevated levels in indoor dust samples (median concentrations for sum OCPs of 1200 ng/g dust). This suggests the importance of dust as an exposure route for pesticides (especially at contaminated sites), since dust is not commonly considered in exposure assessments for these chemicals. The main contributor to the sum PBDEs in dust samples was BDE 209 (median concentration of 495 ng/g), with a contribution between 94 and 99%. We estimated that the dietary intake of ΣHCHs and ΣDDTs is high for both adults (1500−2100 ng/day) and toddlers (1100−1500 ng/day), while the PCB dietary intake was estimated at 200 ng/day for adults, being compared to other European studies. The contribution of dust ingestion to the daily intake of PBDEs is increased in comparison to intake of other chlorinated contaminants, while food consumption seems to be more important than dust for the HBCD intake. However, neither BDE 209 nor HBCD were measured at levels above method LOQ in any food samples and their dietary intake is probably overestimated because nondetects were replaced by 1/2 LOQ. The estimated intakes obtained in the present study are in good agreement with the higher concentrations of OCPs and the low levels of PBDEs reported recently in Romanian human samples.