Monitoring dioxins, PCBs and flame retardants

Monitoring dioxins, PCBs and flame retardants in agricultural products

On behalf of the Directorate-general Agro of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (EZK) Wageningen Food Safety Research analyses samples of agricultural products of animal origin for dioxins, PCBs and brominated flame retardants. This includes meat, milk and eggs.

The samples are taken at the primary production or processing stage (e.g. in slaughterhouses or raw milk collection services). All samples are first screened with the DR CALUX® method. Samples giving a signal indicating a level above the lowest action limit (usually that for dioxin-like PCBs) are regarded as suspected. These samples are further examined using GC/HRMS as confirmatory method.

100 samples

Additionally, within the framework of the EU monitoring of background levels of dioxins, dioxin-like PCBs, non-dioxin-like PCBs in foodstuffs, each year approximately 100 samples of foodstuffs (like meat, milk and eggs) are examined with GC/HRMS. These samples are randomly chosen from the samples that are screened with the DR CALUX┬« method. In these samples, also common brominated flame retardants are analysed, such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDD). Apart from monitoring, surveys are performed to zoom in on a specific product if such need becomes apparent. 


For the EU-regulation for action levels and maximum levels for dioxins, dioxin-like PCBs and non-dioxin-like PCBs in foodstuffs Regulation (E) No 1881/2006.

Results monitoring dioxins, PCBs and flame retardants

In the attached spreadsheets (see right) the monitoring results of 2008-2018 are shown.

瓦赫宁根食品安全研究院 Wageningen Food Safety Research