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Keywords:

  • Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins/furans;
  • Duck;
  • Duck egg;
  • Serum;
  • Dietary

Abstract

The 2004 food market-basket survey in Taiwan found high levels of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) in duck eggs. A subsequent survey in Chang-Hua County, central Taiwan, found nine duck farms for egg production and duck eggs that were highly contaminated by PCDD/Fs in the secondary sampling and analysis during the years 2004 to 2005. Duck-egg farmers eat duck eggs rather than chicken eggs, and the aim of the current study was to evaluate how eating contaminated duck eggs affected serum PCDD/F accumulation and PCDD/F profiles in family members of duck-egg farmers. Forty-two family members of duck-egg farmers and 88 residents living nearby (control group) were recruited. Serum PCDD/F levels were significantly higher in duck-egg farmers than in the control group (28.1 vs 18.6 pg World Health Organization toxic equivalency [TEQ]/g lipid, WHO-TEQ). Significant differences in PCDD/F levels were found for most congeners, especially for 2,3,4,7,8-penta–chlorinated dibenzofurans. Elevated serum PCDD/F levels were positively associated with an increase in monthly duck-egg consumption after adjustments for fish consumption. The current result contradicted results of our previous study, which showed a positive association between fish intake and serum PCDD/F levels. The matter of cultivation in the contaminant area in Chang-Hua County should be considered more seriously. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2010;29:2402–2408. © 2010 SETAC