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Environmental Contaminants
(Dioxins & PCBs)

PCBs, chlorinated dioxins, furans, congeners, dioxins, testing, analytical services

What are Dioxins and Dioxin-like PCBs?

Dioxin is the common term used to refer to a group of chlorinated dioxins and furans of similar chemical structure. The group of dioxins is made up of a total of 75 polychlorinated dibenzodioxins (PCDDs) and 135 polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs). Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are also in the group of chlorinated hydrocarbons. Dioxins are a group of toxic congeners which are highly persistent environmental pollutants.

Dioxins are never industrially produced. In fact, they are the undesired by-product of all combustion processes in the presence of chlorine and organic carbon under certain conditions, e.g. certain temperatures. Dioxin is formed at temperatures of 300°C and above and is destroyed at temperatures of 900°C and higher. Dioxins can also form as a result of forest fires and volcanic eruptions. Since Dioxins (but not furans) are unintentionally formed, they can only be determined at a very low level; around one million times lower in concentration compared to the level for other environmental components. As they accumulate in the environment, some dioxins contaminate food products causing a potential danger to public health.

PCBs, chlorinated dioxins, furans, congeners, dioxins, testing, analytical services

Dioxins and furans are carcinogenic and so are some of the most regulated environmental contaminants (Council Regulation 2375/2001).

Fera is the UK National Reference Laboratory for Dioxins and PCBs in Food and Feed as well as one of the world's leading and most respected laboratories for Dioxin and Furan testing. We are hosting the 8th International Symposium on Flame Retardants: BFR 2017 this year which will take place from Sunday 7th May to Wednesday 10th May 2017. It will bring together international experts from industry, governments and academia to exchange latest research results and to propose measures to reduce risk from the use of flame retardants.

The environmental contaminants team specialises in ultra trace analysis (parts per trillion and lower) of Dioxins, PCBs, PAHs, brominated dioxins, brominated flame retardants and related emerging contaminants in food, feed and related samples. The team works with many collaborators to answer problems requiring a multi-disciplinary response. Depending on your priorities, we can test a wide range of food and feed stuffs to assess the potential risk of human exposure to dioxins and furans, including: animal feeds; fish and fish products; meat and meat products; milk and milk products; eggs; fats and oils. We are UKAS accredited for Dioxins/Furans, PCBs, PAHs, Brominated Dioxins and Brominated Flame Retardants.

Our Services

Organic Contaminants

Target LOQ


Determination Step

PCDD/Fs & non ortho-PCB 0.01 ng/kg High Resolution GC-MS
ortho-PCB 0.01 µg/kg GC-MS

Key Capabilities

  • Fera is the National Reference Laboratory for Dioxins/Furans, PCBs and PAHs in food and feed
  • UKAS Accredited for Dioxins/Furans, PCBs, PAHs, Brominated Dioxins and Brominated Flame Retardants
  • Ability to work to the lowest Limits of Detection (LODs) required for specific foodstuffs e.g. infant formula/food
  • Competitive turnaround and pricing


If you have questions about dioxins and furans testing, legislation, or the regulatory environment; sometimes it requires another experienced person or team to help pull things together and move them ahead. Fera's consultancy service is made up of senior scientists who have broad and deep experience in the food industry that we can bring to bear on your research project which goes beyond analysis and scientific expertise.

Contact Us

To speak with us about this service, or for any other services, please contact the team on +44 (0)300 100 0323 or e-mail us

Want to know what EU Projects we are involved in?

We collaborate and partner with many industry and government organisations in order to aid in the safeguarding our natural environment, supporting our world-leading food and farming industry, and sustaining a thriving rural economy. Our broad remit means we play a hand in people's day-to-day life, from the food we eat, and the air we breathe, to the water we drink.

Learn more about our EU Projects

Join us at BFR 2017

The 'International Symposium on Flame Retardants' is a series of conferences on safety aspects of flame retardants.

Bringing together international experts from industry, governments and academia latest research will be shared and evaluated, in an effort to propose new measures to reduce risk from the use of flame retardants.

Register your interest here:

Contact Us - Food

T: +44 (0)300 100 0323

Contact Us

Food Sample Submission Form

Download our Sample submission form here: Food Generic Sample Submission Form

  • Specific Tests - Contaminants, Mycotoxins, Authenticty & Residues
  • Volume Discounts available for maximum batch quantities
  • Extensive scope of UKAS (ISO17025) accredited tests

Join Us at 7th Food Sure (Safety & Quality Summit) 22-24 May 2017

The Food Sure agenda covers the whole spectrum of safety and quality in the food and beverage industry. From cutting edge microbial pathogen studies to practical implementation of process controls and risk assessments. 7th Annual FOOD SURE Safety & Quality Summit

Devising a Due Diligence Programme

Due Diligence programmes are critical in protecting your brand and company reputation, providing the evidence that you are taking all reasonable precautions to comply with food safety legislation. Due Diligence Programmes

Why not join our mailing list?

Want to know more about what is happening at Fera? Why not join our mailing list to find out more click here

Visit HorizonScan website - Food supply chain global issues and trends

Emerging Risks & Increasing Issues across the global supply chain at your fingertips - HorizonScan why not sign up for a free trial