Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 55 (11), 2015, 1590-1617
Dioxins include polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), and part of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Only the compounds that are chlorinated at the 2,3,7, and 8 positions have characteristic dioxin toxicity. PCDDs, PCDFs and PCBs accumulate in the food chain due to their high lipophilicity, high stability, and low vapor pressure. They are not metabolized easily; however their hydroxylated metabolites are detected in feces. They cause a wide range of endocrine disrupting effects in experimental animals, wildlife, and humans. Endocrine related effects of PCDDs, PCDFs and PCBs on thyroid hormones, neurodevelopment and reproductive development were referenced. In addition, some studies of contamination of foods, bioaccumulation, dietary exposure assessment, as well as challenges of scientific research in these compounds were reviewed.