EFSA reports on PCB levels in foods

Friday 6 August 2010

Fish, raw milk, dairy and egg products are foods containing the highest levels of non dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (NDL PCBs), while fruit and vegetables have the lowest traces, said the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

The food safety watchdog based its conclusions on more than 11,000 food samples collected from 18 EU member states, Iceland and Norway between 1999 and 2008.

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are a class of widespread toxic organic chemicals that accumulate both in the environment and in humans. Although the production and use of PCBs halted in1980s, large amounts remain in electrical equipment, plastic products and building materials, which can be released into the environment. Human exposure is typically through food.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified PCBs as probably carcinogenic to humans.

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