[en] In January 1999, Belgium encounters an accidental contamination of the food chain, which was named "the Belgian Dioxin Crisis". The aim of the present review is to estimate the impact of this crisis on public health. Currently, it does not really exist any exhaustive epidemiological study. Various scientific studies actually report somewhat conflicting results. As an example, concerning the population living in Wallonia, recorded dioxin levels are not higher than background levels reported for other industrialized countries, despite the 1999 "dioxin crisis". Conversely, based on levels measured in foodstuffs collected by the end of the crisis period, the dioxin body burden of potential consumers would have increased in the range of 40 to 75 %. The real impact of this crisis on consumers' health could thus only be estimated through well structured epidemiological campaigns.
Centre Interfacultaire d'Analyse des Résidus en Traces - CART ; FARAH - Veterinary Public Health