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Your Environment. Your Health.

Optimizing bulk milk dioxin monitoring based on costs and effectiveness

Environmental Health Economic Analysis Annotated Bibliography


Research article Cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA)
Lascano-Alcoser VH, Velthuis AG, Van Der Fels-Klerx HJ, Hoogenboom LA, and Oude Lansink AG
J Dairy Sci
Authors developed optimization models and used preselected contamination scenarios to estimate the costs and effectiveness of bulk milk dioxin monitoring in milk trucks as a means of optimizing sampling and pooling monitoring strategies. Results showed that detecting a dioxin incident with a high level of effectiveness is possible, but only at high cost; furthermore, low monitoring budgets are only highly effective when aiming to detect large incidences. These results suggested that taking a higher risk for not detecting the smallest detectable incident significantly reduces monitoring costs. This study developed decision-making models that risk managers of food industries and food safety authorities can use to evaluate the costs and effectiveness of dioxin monitoring in bulk milk. These models can be used to determine the minimum amount of resources required to accomplish a certain level of effectiveness or to calculate the achieved level of effectiveness at a certain monitoring budget.
Not available

Health Outcomes

  • Not available

Environmental Agents

List of Environmental Agents:

  • Chlorinated compounds (polychlorinated dibenzodioxins, polychlorinated dibenzofurans)

Source of Environmental Agents:

  • Dairy products (milk)

Economic Evaluation / Methods and Source


  • Cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA)

Cost Measured:

  • Monitoring costs (includes costs related to sampling, testing, labor for personnel, materials/equipment, transport, and storage)
  • incident costs (includes costs related to tracing the source and concentration of dioxins through sampling and testing of suspected sources of contamination (trucks or farms))
  • screening test costs
  • confirmatory test costs

Potential Cost Measures:

  • Losses of dairy farms or dairy processors related to mitigation strategies emplaced after an incident has been detected, such as cost of destroying contaminated milk
  • direct financial costs for implementation of mitigation strategies
  • costs of monitoring for government, industries, and consumers

Benefits Measures:

  • Reduced monitoring costs
  • increased effectiveness of monitoring

Potential Benefits:

  • Benefits of monitoring for government, industries, and consumers


  • European Union (hypothetical region (Dutch))

Models Used:

  • Authors developed two optimization models using a linear programming methodology — MC optimization model (aimed at minimizing monitoring costs)
  • ME optimization model (aimed at maximizing effectiveness of monitoring)

Methods Used:

  • The authors estimated the costs and effectiveness of bulk milk dioxin monitoring in milk trucks to optimize sampling and pooling monitoring strategies aimed at detecting at least 1 out of 20,000 contaminated dairy farms at a target dioxin concentration level. The authors — 1) used a linear programming methodology to build two optimization models (MC and ME); 2) used the optimization models to evaluate a bulk milk dioxin monitoring plan in milk trucks covering 20,000 dairy farms located in an area of 40,000 km2, and randomly selected milk trucks at each sampling time; and 3) applied the optimization models to 8 preselected contamination scenarios representing different detectable incidents.

Sources Used:

  • Results of the monitoring of dioxin level in food and feed (European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), 2010); Animal Health Economics, Principles and Applications, 1st Ed. (Dijkhuizen and Morris, 1997); Kaolinic clay derived PCDD/Fs in the feed chain from a sorting process for potatoes (Hoogenboom et al., 2010); Council Regulation (EC) No 2375/2001 of 29 November 2001 amending Commission Regulation (EC) No 466/2001 setting maximum levels for certain contaminants in foodstuffs (European Commission, 2001c); Commission Recommendation 2006/88/EC of 6 February 2006 on the reduction of the presence of dioxins, furans, and PCBs in feeding stuffs and foodstuffs (European Commission, 2006a); Commission Regulation (EC) no 1883/2006 of 19 December 2006 laying down methods of sampling and analysis for the official control of levels of dioxins and dioxin-like PCBs in certain foodstuffs (European Commission, 2006b); additional sources cited in publication

Economic Evaluation / Methods and Source


  • Lascano-Alcoser VH, Velthuis AG, Van Der Fels-Klerx HJ, Hoogenboom LA, and Oude Lansink AG. 2013. Optimizing bulk milk dioxin monitoring based on costs and effectiveness. J Dairy Sci.
  • Pubmed
  • DOI

NIEHS Funding: (Not available)

Other Funding:

  • RIKILT-Institute of Food Safety, Wageningen University and Research Center, Wageningen, the Netherlands
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