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Exposure of ruminants to persistent organic pollutants and potential of decontamination

Abstract : Human activities are emitting persistent organic pollutants (POPs) to the environment. These compounds have raised concerns about the risk of transfer through the food chain via animal products. They are characterized by a strong persistence in environmental matrices and a lipophilicity which may lead to their accumulation in fat tissues. In EU Regulations (no. 1881/2006, 1259/2011), maximum acceptable levels for polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs), and dioxin-like or nondioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in food of animal origin have been set. Transfer rates from contaminated fodder to milk have been established: for PCBs, the rate of transfer varies from 5 to 90 % and for PCDD/Fs from 1 to 40 %. The differential transfer of the compounds towards milk is related to the hydrophobicity of the pollutants and to their metabolic susceptibility. According to numerous authors, soil is the major reservoir for POPs, and its involuntary ingestion by farm animals reared outdoors may be the main cause of animal product contamination (meat, milk, or eggs). Recent studies seem to indicate that soil is a real risk matrix in terms of transfer of pollutants to the food chain. A POP crisis management is extremely difficult, since it impacts many farmers located in the contaminated area. The question arising is to know if livestock contaminated by POPs may be decontaminated and further used for their initial purpose. Recent data demonstrate that the decontamination process appear feasible and depends on initial level of contamination or the physiological status of the animals.
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Guido Rychen, Hervé Toussaint, Agnès Fournier, Bruno Le Bizec, Cyril Feidt. Exposure of ruminants to persistent organic pollutants and potential of decontamination. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, Springer Verlag, 2014, 21 (10), pp.6440-6447. ⟨10.1007/s11356-013-1882-8⟩. ⟨hal-01561647⟩



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