Environmental health risk assessment of dioxin in foods at the two most severe dioxin hot spots in Vietnam

Tuyet-Hanh, Tran Thi, Minh, Nguyen Hung, Vu-Anh, Le, Dunne, Michael, Toms, Leisa-Maree, Tenkate, Thomas, Thi, Minh-Hue Nguyen, & Harden, Fiona (2015) Environmental health risk assessment of dioxin in foods at the two most severe dioxin hot spots in Vietnam. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, 218(5), pp. 471-478.

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Bien Hoa and Da Nang airbases were bulk storages for Agent Orange during the Vietnam War and currently are the two most severe dioxin hot spots.


This study assesses the health risk of exposure to dioxin through foods for local residents living in seven wards surrounding these airbases.


This study follows the Australian Environmental Health Risk Assessment Framework to assess the health risk of exposure to dioxin in foods. Forty-six pooled samples of commonly consumed local foods were collected and analyzed for dioxin/furans. A food frequency and Knowledge–Attitude–Practice survey was also undertaken at 1000 local households, various stakeholders were involved and related publications were reviewed.


Total dioxin/furan concentrations in samples of local “high-risk” foods (e.g. free range chicken meat and eggs, ducks, freshwater fish, snail and beef) ranged from 3.8 pg TEQ/g to 95 pg TEQ/g, while in “low-risk” foods (e.g. caged chicken meat and eggs, seafoods, pork, leafy vegetables, fruits, and rice) concentrations ranged from 0.03 pg TEQ/g to 6.1 pg TEQ/g. Estimated daily intake of dioxin if people who did not consume local high risk foods ranged from 3.2 pg TEQ/kg bw/day to 6.2 pg TEQ/kg bw/day (Bien Hoa) and from 1.2 pg TEQ/kg bw/day to 4.3 pg TEQ/kg bw/day (Da Nang). Consumption of local high risk foods resulted in extremely high dioxin daily intakes (60.4–102.8 pg TEQ/kg bw/day in Bien Hoa; 27.0–148.0 pg TEQ/kg bw/day in Da Nang).


Consumption of local “high-risk” foods increases dioxin daily intakes far above the WHO recommended TDI (1–4 pg TEQ/kg bw/day). Practicing appropriate preventive measures is necessary to significantly reduce exposure and health risk.

Impact and interest:

4 citations in Scopus
5 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 89175
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Environmental health risk assessment, Dioxin exposure through foods, Bien Hoa dioxin hot spot, Da nang dioxin hot spot, Vietnam
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2015.03.014
ISSN: 1438-4639
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (111705)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Children & Youth Research Centre
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Deposited On: 16 Oct 2015 03:19
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2017 01:01

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