Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDD) and dibenzofurans (PCDF)

PCDD/F

Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofuranes (PCDDs/PCDFs, also PCDD/Fs) are persistent organic pollutants (POPs) which are in short named "dioxins" or "dioxin" in the strict sense of this term.

Dioxins are persistent organic pollutants (POPs) that are highly toxic and persist in the environment and accumulate in the food chain. This group of environmental contaminants includes:

  • Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs): in total 75 congeners, differing in the number and location of chlorine atoms, seven of them are of toxicological relevance (2,3,7,8-substituted congeners), the most toxic one being 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzodioxin (2,3,7,8-TCDD).
  • Polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs): in total 135 congeners, ten of them are of toxicological relevance (2,3,7,8-substituted congeners).

Dioxins and furans (PCDD/Fs) have no technological or other use, but are generated in a number of thermal and industrial processes as unwanted and often unavoidable by-products.

Substances

  • WHO(2005)-PCDD/F-TEQ excl. LOQ
    Sum of dioxins (PCDD/Fs) expressed as WHO toxic equivalent (TEQ) using the WHO-TEFs(2005), calculation by using lowerbound concentrations: lowerbound concentrations are calculated on the assumption that all the values of the different congeners below the limit of quantification (LOQ) are zero.
  • WHO(2005)-PCDD/F-TEQ incl. LOQ
    Sum of dioxins (PCDD/Fs), expressed as WHO toxic equivalent using the WHO-TEFs(2005), calculation by using upperbound concentrations: upperbound concentrations are calculated on the assumption that all the values of the different congeners below the limit of quantification (LOQ) are equal to the limit of quantification.

Specimen

  • Bioindicator in rivers and lakes
  • As the only viviparous fish in German nearshore waters, it is a bioindicator in nearshore coastal marine ecosystems.
  • Inshore, the herring gull mainly feeds from the sea: upon fish, mussels, and crabs.

Sampling area

Sampling period

2003 - 2019

Extended information

Links to external information and legislation