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Indicator PCBs in foodstuffs: occurrence and dietary intake in The Netherlands at the end of the 20th centuryThe report presents a survey of the most recent (1998/1999) information on the occurrence of indicator-PCBs in foodstuffs in the Netherlands. The data on occurrence collected during measurement programmes on occurrence were combined with food consumption data to assess the dietary intake of the seven indicator-PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls, congeners 28, 52, 101, 118, 138, 153 and 180). The estimated median lifelong-averaged intake of indicator-PCBs in the population is 5.6 ng per kg bw per day. The 95th percentile of intake in the population is estimated at 11.9 ng per kg bw per day. The contribution of different food groups to the total intake of indicator-PCBs) is fairly uniformly distributed over the foods consumed: meat products (27%), dairy products (17%), fish (26%), eggs (5%), vegetable products (7%), and industrial oils and fats (18%). Compared with earlier intake estimations the present estimation shows a considerable reduction in intake of indicator-PCBs, albeit that this reduction flattened out during the last decade. This substantial reduction is related to the decrease in the concentration of PCBs in the majority of foodstuffs. However, a small part of the population still has a rather high intake. If this high intake only occurs for a limited period of time, it is not expected to result in adverse health effects. To provide regulators with a health-based guideline to prevent health effects of exposure to indicator PCBs, the derivation of a TDI, preferably by international bodies, is recommended. Monitoring the dietary intake of PCBs is just as important as monitoring the intake of dioxins, and attempts to decrease the exposure to both compound classes need continuous attention.