The impact of dietary habits on contaminant exposures

Annette Petersen*, Bodil Hamborg Jensen, Nathalie Michelle Löbl, Elsa Ebbesen Nielsen, Lea Bredsdorff, Sisse Fagt, Tue Christensen, Julie Boberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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This study shows that dietary habits have an impact on contaminant exposures. A tool was developed to calculate chemical exposures for different Danish population groups. First, the tool divided the individuals into quartiles using a previously developed scoring system for how well their diet complies with the Danish dietary guidelines. Then the exposure was calculated for several contaminants for both children and adults within the quartiles. Comparisons were then performed between the exposures for the lowest and highest quartiles. The individuals having a diet more in compliance with the dietary guidelines have a higher exposure to contaminants than individuals having a diet less in compliance with the dietary guidelines. Standard deviations for the mean exposure were in general large indicating that the consumption patterns can be very different within each population group. A risk characterisation for each contaminant and population group was performed by calculation of Hazard Quotients (HQs). For dioxins and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCDD/F + DL-PCBs), inorganic arsenic, and lead all HQs were above 1 indicating a potential risk for all groups. For hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD) and nickel, a potential risk was identified for at least one group. For all other contaminants the HQs were well below 1 for all groups.
Original languageEnglish
Article number110885
JournalFood and Chemical Toxicology
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Contaminant
  • Exposure
  • Dietary habits
  • Risk assessment

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