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Dioxins and furans - PCDD/PCDF

Dioxins are a group of 210 polychlorinated aromatic chemical compounds that can be classified into two large families: Polychlorinated dibenzo-dioxins (PCDDs) and Polychlorinated dibenzo-furans (PCDFs). Of these compounds, some have toxicological relevance depending on the number and the specific position of chlorine atoms on the aromatic rings.

Due to their strong stability and marked lipophilia, these substances are significantly involved in the mechanisms of bioaccumulation in organisms. Dioxins and furans represent classes of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP) that are internationally recognized for being dangerous and resistant, toxic to humans, animals and the environment itself.

They are unwanted by-products of chemical reactions usually generated during:

  • production of plastics
  • production of pesticides
  • metal processing
  • paper whitening
  • production of fuel oils.

Other sources of emission are uncontrolled or controlled combustion, such as waste incineration, energy production, the use of fuel oils in the most diverse production sectors, and transport. For this reason, dioxins are monitored by law in many manufacturing plants.

Dioxins are emitted into the atmosphere by one or more sources and can be transported over long distances and subsequently deposited in watersoils and sediments.

Man may come into contact with dioxins accidentally, professionally (for example, people working in the production of pesticides or certain chemicals), or by taking contaminated food.

Mérieux NutriSciences performs the analysis of PCDD and PCDF and tests of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB) on waste, land, water, sludge and emissions. The technique we use is isotopic dilution in HRGC/HRMS and -from the historical point of view- our Italian laboratories are among the first to offer high-resolution analysis and currently have 6 high-resolution instruments, able to process a very high number of samples.

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