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Dioxins, Furans, PCBs

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Dioxins / Furans

Dioxins and Furans (PCDDs/Fs) are a group of 210 chlorine organic compounds of which especially the seventeen (2,3,7,8 chorine-substituted) congeners are extremely toxic. Dioxins are formed as unwanted by-products in combustion processes in case of which traces of chlorine are present. Dioxins and Furans are extremely stable, botz in terms of their chemical and thermal qualities. They have a very good liposolubility and are biologically nearly non-degradable. They are accumulated via the food chain and settle in the fat, liver and skin tissue of humans. The 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo(para)dioxin (2,3,7,8 TCDD) commonly known as "Seveso Dioxin" was declared as carcinogenic for humans by the WHO in February 1997.

PCBs - Polychlorinated Biphenyls

PCBs are a compound class of chlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons which consist of 209 individual components. From the molecular biological point of view 12 compounds (non-ortho PCBs and mono-ortho PCBs) show a similar behaviour compared to Dioxins/Furans (PCDDs/Fs) and are thus known as dioxin-like PCBs. As the World Health Organisation (WHO) allotted Toxicity Equivalent Factors (TEFs) to the dioxin-like PCBs, they are also known as WHO-PCBs.

With regard to their chemical and thermal stability, solubility in fat and biological persistence, PCBs have similar properties compared to dioxins and are accumulated via the food chain.

Since the beginning of 2012 further PCBs - the 6 DIN congeners (non-dioxin-like PCBs) have been regulated for food in the EU.

Of course Eurofins GfA Lab Service GmbH is in a position to analyse all 209 PCBs acc. to the California Proposition 65 in our own laboratory.

POPs - Persistent Organic Compounds

The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants is a global agreement on the termination or restriction of the production, use and release of POPs with certain environmental properties - persistent, bioaccumulative and ubiquitous.

In a first step 12 chemicals known as "Dirty Dozen" were regulated in 2004. The original list has been enlarged till today by further 10 chemicals. In addition it is currently discussed to include another 5 pollutants in the Stockholm Convention.

The Competence Centre

Eurofins maintains one of the leading dioxin laboratories worldwide. It is able to analyse in nearly every matrix chlorinated, brominated and mixed halogenated dioxins, PCBs, flame retardants, PFCs, organotin compounds and all organic contaminants specified in the Stockholm Convention.

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