Levels of dioxins and PCBs below EU limits

Wed, Nov 28, 2012, 00:00

Levels of the dangerous pollutants dioxins and PCBs in the natural environment remain very low here, according to a study by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). They are less than 10 per cent of the limit set by the EU for these chemicals.

Details of the study were released yesterday by the EPA. These chemicals tend to accumulate in fat and for this reason they are measured in cows’ milk.

The study included 38 milk samples collected in 2011, Dr Colman Concannon, a chemist in the EPA Office of Environmental Assessment, said. “The concentrations of dioxins [and PCBs] were low by international standards and comparisons,” he said.

Dioxins and PCBs are released into the environment when people burn household rubbish or light bonfires, from some industrial processes, from coal-fired power plants and incineration of municipal or medical waste.