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Persistent organic pollutants in food: public health implications
  1. E Fattore1,
  2. R Fanelli1,
  3. C La Vecchia2
  1. 1Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche “Mario Negri”, Milan, Italy
  2. 2Istituto di Statistica Medica e Biometria, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy
  1. Correspondence to:
 Carlo La Vecchia, Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche “Mario Negri”, Via Eritrea 62, 20157 Milano, Italy;


Persistent organic pollutants are a heterogeneous group of chemicals sharing a number a common properties, including long term persistence and diffusion in the environment, and bioaccumulation through the food chain. Animal experiments and epidemiological studies suggest that the most sensitive adverse effects, such as disturbances on metabolism, development, and reproductive system, may occur in the range of current human exposure. Although the potential cancer risk of persistent organic pollutants remains undefined, the implementation of actions to reduce the exposure to these substances, which mainly occurs through the diet, is important.

  • persistent organic pollutants
  • cancer promoters
  • carcinogenesis
  • non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • POPs, persistent organic pollutants
  • PCBs, polychlorinated biphenyls

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