Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) and dioxins
Dioxin is a generic term used for 75 polychlorinated dibenzo-para-dioxins (PCDD) and 135 polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDF).
Dioxins are produced as undesirable byproducts of combustion processes in the presence of chlorine.
Dioxins are found in all areas of the environment (soil, air and water). They are long-lived and are difficult to metabolise. Fat-soluble, they proliferate in the food chain, especially in animal products (e.g. fish and eggs).
Certain dioxins (e.g. 2,3,7,8 TCDD) are highly toxic even in minute quantities. Dioxins can be carcinogenic and cause impairments of the immune system, nerve system, reproduction and metabolism.
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB)
Unlike dioxins, PCBs were manufactured deliberately. They were used in condensers, hydraulic systems and elsewhere due to their chemical properties. PCBs are now banned in Germany.
But like dioxins, PCBs are encountered everywhere in the environment.
PCBs are fat-soluble and can be absorbed via the skin. They are considered chronically toxic and proliferate in the food chain and the body. The consequences include damage to the immune system, the liver and the skin. As endocrine disrupters, they are suspected of impairing male fertility in humans and animals.
A distinction is made between dioxin-like (dl-PCB) and non-dioxin-like (ndl-PCB).
- Analysis using high-resolution GC-MS (GC-HRMS)
- Analysis possible in many matrices, for instance:
- farm manure and fermentation substrates
- compost, soil and sewage sludge
We regularly participate in inter-laboratory studies to maintain our high quality standards.
Regulation (EU) No 1259/2011 (amending Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006) currently defines the maximum contents of dioxins, dioxin-like PCB (dl-PCB) and non-dioxin-like PCB (ndl-PCB) in food. The Contaminant Ordinance (KmV) also applies in Germany; it specifies the maximum contaminant content.
Analysis of six indicator PCBs (PCB 28, 52, 101, 138, 153 and 180) is used to monitor non-dioxin-like PCBs (ndl dioxins).
Regulation (EU) No 277/2012 defines the maximum contents of dioxins and PCBs in fodder.