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Dietary Intake of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in a Spanish Population

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The objective of the present study was to estimate the dietary intake of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), particularly benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P), as well as to identify the principal dietary sources of such compounds in the Spanish adult population. The study included 40,690 subjects aged 35 to 64 years from five regions of Spain that were included in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)–Spain cohort. Usual food intake was estimated by personal interview through a computerized version of a dietary history questionnaire. The estimations of B[a]P and total PAHs were made, taking into account the country where the determinations of content of these compounds in the foods came from and the year of publication. The mean intake of B[a]P in the population was 0.14 μg/day, and the mean intake of total PAHs was 8.57 μg/day. Both for B[a]P and total PAHs, women had a significantly lower mean intake than men, and older people consumed lesser amounts than younger people. Furthermore, the intake was higher in the northern regions. There were no significant differences by smoking status. The food groups of meat and meat products, cereals, and oils and fats contribute 55.5% to the total B[a]P intake, while cereals and meat and meat products contribute 61% to the total PAH consumption. Our estimations of B[a]P intake were lower than in the United Kingdom and The Netherlands, were similar to those found in other studies from Spain and Italy, and were higher than those in the United States and Norway.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Unit of Epidemiology, Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO), IDIBELL, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, 08907 Barcelona, Spain 2: Consejería de Sanidad, 30008 Murcia, Spain 3: Escuela Andaluza de Salud Pública, 18080 Granada, Spain 4: Consejería de Sanidad y Servicios Sociales de Asturias, 33001 Oviedo, Spain 5: Dirección de Salud de Guipúzcoa, 20013 San Sebastián, Spain 6: Instituto de Salud Pública de Navarra, 31003 Pamplona, Spain

Publication date: October 1, 2005

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