Xuanwei and Fuyuan are located in the southwest of China and have the highest lung cancer incidence in China, possibly even highest in the world. Dietary samples were collected from these two counties and the contamination status of sixteen polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were determined. PAH components, food constituents, dietary exposure level, as well as spatial difference, were studied in the different groups. The percentage of dietary intake to total intake of PAHs was calculated and the relationship between the dietary intake of PAHs and the abnormal lung cancer incidence was primarily discussed. The results showed that rice and potatoes were the main foods of the local residents in Xuanwei and Fuyuan. The daily exposure doses of Bap (benzo[a]pyrene), total PAHs, and TEQs (toxic equivalents) based on Bap toxicity in two counties were estimated to be 458 ng d−1, 14 532 ng d−1, and 896 ng d−1, respectively, which were much less than those in other cities reported previously. The lower ingestion amount of food with a relatively higher content of PAHs, such as meat and fish, could account for the lower exposure doses. PAHs with less than 4 rings occupied a high percentage of the total PAHs in food samples. The exposure doses varied significantly among different sites and even different families at the same site. Dietary exposure was not the main exposure route of PAHs at most sites. It appears that there was not a direct relationship between dietary exposure and the lung cancer incidence. However, high ratios of dietary intake to total PAHs intake (1.33%–70.61%) were found in several areas and rational diet suggestions should be given in these areas in the future.
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