Impact of environmental variables on PCDD/F and dl-PCB levels in dairy milk of the farming region of Chile
Abstract According to a One Health perspective, the importance of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) must be assessed because of their impact on the environment, food chain and human health. However, information on these toxic compounds is limited in Latin America and the Caribbean region. Chile is no exception; therefore, this work aimed to explain previously reported dioxin levels in cow-milk samples by utilizing regression with meteorological/geographical data that were collected over a three-year survey. To accomplish this aim, a stepwise general multiple regression analysis was carried out for polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (dl-PCBs). The best statistical adjustments were achieved only for highly present congeners. Regarding PCDD/F congeners, the most relevant and significant (P <0.05) factors were the year (mostly a negative coefficient), the season, and the hectares affected by forest fires. In the case of dl-PCB congeners, there was a clear, positive relationship with the geographic parameter (UTM), and this result was consistent with previous findings that dl-PCB congeners show a trend with latitude. In contrast, wind speed was a significant negative coefficient for dl-PCBs. Despite existing knowledge on pollutant levels in milk, this study is relevant to better understand these findings in the Latin America and Caribbean regions.