John Libbey Eurotext

Environnement, Risques & Santé


Toxicokinetic modelling of 2,3,7,8‐tetrachloro‐p‐dioxin blood concentrations in women after ingestion Volume 2, issue 1, Janvier 2003


See all figures

Unité de toxicologie expérimentale, Institut national de l‘environnement industriel et des risques (INERIS), Parc Technologique ALATA, BP 2, 60550 Verneuil en Halatte. <>
  • Key words: models, biological; food contamination; environmental exposure; tetrachlorodibenzodioxin; Monte Carlo method; women.
  • Page(s) : 45-53
  • Published in: 2003

Emergency public health decisions may be required in the case of accidental or intentional contamination of the environment or of foodstuffs. In such conditions, it may be difficult to identify and survey exposed individuals in a timely manner. Fortunately, the mathematical modelling of epidemics or poisoning is a well‐developed discipline that can aid risk assessment and decision‐making. The current trend is towards "physiological" modelling, which describes in as much detail as needed the body‘s structures, functions and disorders. The verifiable scientific bases of the corresponding models make them robust and trustworthy for use in predicting unobserved quantities. As an example of its application, we present here an assessment of the internal dose of 2,3,7,8‐tetrachloro‐p‐dioxin (TCDD) received from the ingestion of contaminated chicken, as happened recently in Belgium. The computations indicate that the ingestion of 100 pg TCDD twice a week for 3 weeks increases TCDD blood concentration by less than one percent, compared with the European background TCDD exposure. Stochastic (Monte Carlo) simulations show that these predictions are quite precise. This type of predictive risk assessment is applicable to numerous chemicals and exposure scenarios.