Probabilistic Health Risk Assessment of PCDD/Fs in Vegetable Foods at Highly Polluted Area in Turkey

  • Seda Aslan KilavuzEmail author
  • Ertan Durmusoglu
  • Aykan Karademir


Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) are highly toxic and persistent organic pollutants that are ubiquitous in the environment. The main pathway of these compounds for human exposure is animal food consumption. On the other hand, plant-derived foods should be also considered for especially vegetarians in an exposure assessment. In this study, dietary intake and health risks of PCDD/Fs have been assessed for adult population living in Kocaeli, Turkey. Exposure levels have been calculated based on a combination of concentration data of locally and non-locally grown vegetable foods and a matrix of environmental exposure factors. The Monte Carlo technique has been applied to calculate dietary exposure and carcinogenic risk distributions. The results have showed that the mean PCDD/F intake via the consumption of vegetable foods are 0.652, 0.672, and 0.661 pg WHO-TEQ kg−1 body weight (bw) day−1 for urban, semi-urban, and rural receptors, respectively. These results are within the range of 1–4 pg WHO-TEQ kg−1 bw day−1 adopted by WHO as the tolerable daily intake. On the other hand, estimated carcinogenic risks related to the PCDD/Fs doses are above the acceptable carcinogenic risk level of 1 in 1,000,000, as proposed by the US EPA. Sensitivity analyses indicate that the cereal consumption has significance effect on the PCDD/F intake for all receptor groups.


PCDD/Fs Kocaeli Turkey Exposure level Environmental exposure factors The Monte Carlo technique Dietary exposure Carcinogenic risk distribution Carcinogenic risk level Dioxins Exposure assessment Health risk assessment Dioxins in foodstuff 



Average daily intake


Aryl hydrocarbon receptor


Averaging time (day)


Body weight of receptors (kg)


PCDD/F concentration in food (pgTEQ/g fresh weight)


Exposure duration (year)


Exposure frequency (day year−1)


Site-specific fraction of food (non-)locally produced


Hazard quotient


High-resolution gas chromatography coupled with a high-resolution mass spectrometry


High-resolution gas chromatography coupled with a low-resolution mass spectrometry


International Agency for Cancer Research


Ingestion rate of foods


Food consumption rate (kg day−1)


Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans


Persistent organic pollutants




Tolerable daily intakes


Toxic equivalency factor


Toxic equivalents


United States Environmental Protection Agency


World Health Organization



This study was funded by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) under Grant No: 1040121 and the University of Kocaeli Scientific Research Projects Unit under Project No: 2008/019.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seda Aslan Kilavuz
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ertan Durmusoglu
    • 1
  • Aykan Karademir
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Engineering, Faculty of EngineeringUniversity of KocaeliKocaeliTurkey

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