WASHINGTON, Aug. 14 (UPI) -- The levels of dioxin-like compound appear to have declined in chickens, hogs and turkeys produced for food in the United States, the federal government says.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture measured levels of dioxin-like compounds, known as DLCs, in 2002-2003 that were 20 percent to 80 percent lower than levels measured in less extensive testing done from 1994-1996, the study says.
Cynthia L. Deyrup and colleagues report results of a survey of DLC levels in the four slaughter classes that represent about 90 percent of meat and poultry production in the United States.
None of the chickens or turkeys and five of 139 cattle and three of 136 hogs exceeded existing regulatory limits on dioxins which have been adopted in the European Union.
DLCs, a family of compounds that enter the environment as byproducts of combustion and certain manufacturing processes, can accumulate in the fat of humans and animals.
The findings are scheduled for publication in Tuesday's issue of Environmental Science and Technology.