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Human dietary exposure to chemicals in sub-Saharan Africa: safety assessment through a total diet study









Ingenbleek, L., Verger, P., Gimou, M. M., Adegboye, A., Adebayo, S. B., Hossou, S. E., ... & Dansou, S. (2020). Human dietary exposure to chemicals in sub-Saharan Africa: safety assessment through a total diet study. The Lancet Planetary Health, 4(7), e292-e300.

https://doi.org/10.1016/S2542-5196(20)30104-2


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    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in foods from the first regional total diet study in Sub-Saharan Africa: contamination profile and occurrence data 2019
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    As part of the first multi-centre Sub-Saharan Africa Total Diet Study, 660 typical foods from Benin, Cameroon, Mali, and Nigeria were purchased, prepared according to local consumption habits, and pooled into 55 composite samples. These core foods were tested for 15 + 1 EU priority polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which were quantified by isotope dilution and gas chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. The sum of benzo[a]pyrene, benzo[a]anthracene, benzo[b]fluoranthene, and chrysene (PAH4) represented 77% of the 13 genotoxic and carcinogenic PAHs. The highest PAH4 concentration was quantified in sea and fresh water smoked fish (mean: 179.7 μg/kg; max: 560.4 μg/kg) and the PAH4 in all smoked fish composite samples exceeded the EU maximum limit of 12 μg/kg. Further, PAH4 in edible oils (including palm oil and peanut oil) exceeded the EU maximum limit of 10 μg/kg in 50% of the cases (mean 12.0 μg/kg; max: 60.6 μg/kg). These data can be used for assessing the contribution of core foods to dietary exposure and for risk characterization.
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    Levels of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in foods from the first regional Sub-Saharan Africa Total Diet Study 2020
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    For the first time, a multi-centre Total Diet Study was carried out in Benin, Cameroon, Mali and Nigeria. We collected and prepared as consumed 528 typical fatty foods from those areas and pooled these subsamples into 44 composites samples. These core foods were tested for a wide spectrum of POPs, including polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), brominated flame-retardants (BFRs), organochlorine compounds (OCs), perfluoro alkyl substances (PFAS) and chlorinated flame retardants (CFRs). The POPs contamination levels were similar or lower than those reported in total diet studies previously conducted worldwide. In most cases, core foods belonging to fish food group presented higher POPs concentrations than the other food groups. Interestingly, we observed a difference in both contamination profile and concentration for smoked fish compared to non-smoked fish. Such finding suggests that the smoking process itself might account for a large proportion of the contamination. Further investigation would require the assessment of combustion materials used to smoke fish as a potential vehicle, which may contribute to the dietary exposure of the studied populations to POPs.
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    Report of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation on the Risks and Benefits of Fish Consumption. Rome, 25-29 january 2010 2011
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    The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization convened a Joint Expert Consultation on the Risks and Benefits of Fish Consumption from 25 to 29 January 2010. The tasks of the Expert Consultation were to review data on levels of nutrients (long-chain omega-3 fatty acids) and specific chemical contaminants (methylmercury and dioxins) in a range of fish species and to compare the health benefits of fish consumption and nutrient intake with th e health risks associated with contaminants present in fish. The Expert Consultation drew a number of conclusions regarding the health benefits and health risks associated with fish consumption and recommended a series of steps that Member States should take to better assess and manage the risks and benefits of fish consumption and more effectively communicate these risks and benefits to their citizens. The output of the Expert Consultation is a framework for assessing the net health ben efits or risks of fish consumption that will provide guidance to national food safety authorities and the Codex Alimentarius Commission in their work on managing risks, taking into account the existing data on the benefits of eating fish. The Expert Consultation concluded the following: Consumption of fish provides energy, protein and a range of other important nutrients, including the long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCn3PUFAs). Eating fish is part of the cultural traditi ons of many peoples. In some populations, fish is a major source of food and essential nutrients. Among the general adult population, consumption of fish, particularly fatty fish, lowers the risk of mortality from coronary heart disease. There is an absence of probable or convincing evidence of risk of coronary heart disease associated with methylmercury. Potential cancer risks associated with dioxins are well below established coronary heart disease benefits from fish consumption. W hen comparing the benefits of LCn3PUFAs with the risks of methylmercury among women of childbearing age, maternal fish consumption lowers the risk of suboptimal neurodevelopment in their offspring compared with the offspring of women not eating fish in most circumstances evaluated. At levels of maternal exposure to dioxins (from fish and other dietary sources) that do not exceed the provisional tolerable monthly intake (PTMI) of 70 pg/kg body weight established by JECFA (for PCDDs, PCD Fs and coplanar PCBs), neurodevelopmental risk for the fetus is negligible. At levels of maternal exposure to dioxins (from fish and other dietary sources) that exceed the PTMI, neurodevelopmental risk for the fetus may no longer be negligible. Among infants, young children and adolescents, the available data are currently insufficient to derive a quantitative framework of the health risks and health benefits of eating fish. However, healthy dietary patterns that include fish consumpti on and are established early in life influence dietary habits and health during adult life.

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