Evaluation of the risk of PAHs and dioxins transfer to humans via the dairy ruminant

C. Feidt, S. Cavret, N. Grova, C. Laurent, G. Rychen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


To evaluate the risk of PAHs and dioxins transfer to humans several studies on dairy ruminant exposure and on intestinal absorption have been conducted. In order to assess PAHs feed-milk transfer, the transfer of three 14C-labelled PAHs (14C-phenanthrene, 14C- pyrene, 14C-benzo[a]pyrene) and 14C-2,3,7,8-TCDD has been studied after a single oral ingestion (2.6 × 106 Bq) to lactating goats. Radioactivity associated to the labelled PAHs and 2,3,7,8-TCDD has been detected in milk seven hours after the molecules administration. Cumulated part of ingested radioactivity recovered in milk after five days have reached a similar level after 103 h for 14C-phenanthrene and 14C-pyrene (1.5% and 1.9% respectively). 14C-benzo[a] pyrene did not appear significatively in milk (0.2% of ingested radioactivity). Transfer of 14C-2,3,7,8-TCDD to milk was higher than for PAHs, reaching 7.8% of ingested radioactivity. The bioavailability of PAHs and dioxins was assessed using two animal models. In one hand, we have characterized the in-vitro transfer of PAHs and dioxin through intestinal barrier using Caco-2 cells cultivated on permeable filters. In the other hand, we have described the specific arterial apparition profile of the studied micropollutants in growing pig. The in-vitro experiment showed that 14C-pyrene, 14C-phenanthrene, 14C-benzo[a]pyrene and 14C-2,3,7,8-TCDD were able to cross the intestinal barrier. 14C-phenanthrene was transported 1.1-, 1.8-, and 6.7-folds more than respectively 14C-pyrene, 14C-benzo[a]pyrene and 14C-2,3,7,8-TCDD after 6 h exposure. Regarding arterial apparition profiles, 14C arterial level from 14C phenanthrene was about 3 and 10 times more elevated than 14C level from 14-C-benzo[a]pyrene and 14C-TCDD respectively. These results can be related to the intestinal barrier transfer profile of the same molecules. The results presented in this paper contribute to give new insights on evaluation of the risk of PAHs and dioxins transfer to humans via the dairy ruminant. They particularly clarify the way by which organic micropollutants are transferred to milk and to living organisms during digestion and absorption.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnvironmental Chemistry
Subtitle of host publicationGreen Chemistry and Pollutants in Ecosystems
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)3540228608, 9783540228608
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • PAH
  • bioavailability
  • dairy ruminant
  • dioxin
  • milk


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