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Food contamination by PCBs and waste disposal crisis: Evidence from goat milk in Campania (Italy).

Chemosphere; 186: 396-404, 2017 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28802131


The study aims at investigating whether, and if so, to what extent the strong presence of urban and industrial waste in a territory may cause PCB contamination in goat milk produced therein.


We compared PCB concentrations in goat milk from three different locations in the Campania region (Italy). One of the three locations, together with its surrounding area, has long suffered from illegal waste disposal and burning mainly by the so-called Ecomafia. The other locations, not involved in these illegal activities, allowed us to create a control group of goats with characteristics very similar to those of main interest.


In milk from the waste contaminated area we identified high PCB concentrations (six indicator PCBs amounted to 170 ng g on lipid weight, on average), whereas there was an almost total absence of such pollutants in milk from the control group. Concentrations of the six indicator PCBs were above the current European maximum residue limit fixed by the EU. At the same time, we found a lower average value of lipid content and a negative relationship between lipid content and PCB concentrations.


Evidence indicates the potential health risk for consumers living in areas involved in illegal dumping of waste.