Response

1. Each of the components will have different physical and chemical properties, which in turn leads to different bioconcentration ability, rates of degradation and toxicity. If a value for the total toxicity of a sample is required, this would involve determining individual concentrations and compensating for their different toxicities, for example, by using toxic equivalent factors.

2. The majority of analytical schemes for ng kg-1 concentrations of organic compounds would involve chromatographic separation of the interfering compounds (after extensive pretreatment), which in turn provides at least a partial separation of the PCDDs and PCDFs.

3. As you might expect, the relative quantities of each of the compounds will be different from each production source. Under favourable circumstances, estimation of the relative concentrations can give an indication of their likely origin.

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