The aim of the research programme is to understand the pathways by which organic contaminants enter food, the levels at which they occur, and the mechanisms by which they accumulate through the food chain.
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxins are long-lasting environmental contaminants. They are by-products of fires and some manufacturing processes. The main sources of dioxins in the diet are from meat, meat products, milk and dairy products. The health effects of dioxins and dioxin-like PCBs include carcinogenicity, immunotoxicity, reproductive and developmental effects.
In addition to dioxins and PCBs there are a large number of organic environmental chemical contaminants (approximately 50,000) that may be present in food adventitiously as a result of human activity or from natural sources. These include such groups as Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, phthalates, brominated flame retardants and musks.
The objectives of this work were to allow total dietary intakes to be estimated, examine whether it is possible to distinguish between environmental and food contact material sources of phthalates in foods, and to establish the ranges of phthalates concentrations in food.
The objectives of this work were to develop the analytical methodology for mixed polybrominated and polychlorinated dioxins (PXDD/Fs) and biphenyls (PXBs) in foods, and to analyse these compounds in foods on sale in the UK.
The investigation was carried out to identify any seafood contamination associated with specific marine or coastal locations in UK waters. This was to include levels leading to non-compliances and to generate information about emerging risks, providing a baseline for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (Descriptor 9 – food safety).
Levels of known brominated flame retardants (BFRs) will be measured and the bromine contribution compared with the total organic bromine content. Samples with the greatest difference will be analysed for other bromine-containing compounds and an attempt made to identify any novel and emerging BFRs.
This project will investigate the potential uptake of organic contaminants to meat and eggs from chickens reared on bedding made from several types of recycled waste materials. The transfer of persistent organic contaminants to meat and offal from pigs reared on land previously treated with waste-derived soil conditioners will also be investigated
This project involves co-funding of a three-year postgraduate studentship investigating the levels of brominated flame retardants in domestic kitchens and the potential for food contamination during handling, preparation and consumption.
A mass-balance approach will be used to detect new dioxin-like compounds. A bioassay technique will be used to measure dioxin-like activity in a series of samples. Samples will then be analysed for dioxins and known dioxin-like compounds. Those with the greatest unexplained activity will be further analysed in an attempt to identify the sources of activity.
This is the final year of a 4 year surveillance programme investigating a range of mycotoxins in foods, which will be collected by Ventress and then the samples will be analysed by Premier Analytical Services (PAS). The data collected from this study will be submitted to EFSA as part of their continuous call for data on mycotoxins.
The transfer of organic contaminants to milk due to cows ingesting waste materials used as bedding or as soil conditioner on pasture will be investigated under controlled conditions. This project will also examine the uptake of organic contaminants by carrots and cereals grown in soil amended with waste-derived soil conditioners.
This project aims to provide guidance for generating better quality total diet study (TDS) exposure data. It also aims to establish a legacy of harmonised methods for sampling and analysis, and science-based recommendations for future global studies.
Following increasing reports of environmental contamination by pharmaceuticals, veterinary medicines and ingredients from personal care products, this project will investigate whether any of these chemicals are being taken up into the human food chain at levels of potential concern for health.
This study investigated the effects of flooding on contaminant levels in meat and offal from grazing livestock and performed further monitoring of milk along one of the rivers investigated 10 years earlier.
Analytical methods will be developed or refined and validated for pentachlorobenzene, pentachlorophenol and hexachlorobutadiene in food. The methods will then be used to measure these compounds in a range of individual food samples and total diet study composites.
An electronic database was developed to serve as a central repository of UK industry generated occurrence data for the mycotoxins T2 and HT2. The dataset was submitted by the contractor in a single batch to the EFSA Data Collection Framework (DCF) on an annual basis. This data will be used in EFSA’s assessments.
T-2 and HT-2 toxins are mycotoxins produced by various Fusarium fungal species and are predominantly found in cereals, particularly oats. A survey of a wide range of retail oat based products showed that these mycotoxins were present at low levels. The levels observed did not indicate a concern for human health.