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J Food Prot. 2004 Aug;67(8):1787-91.

Polychlorinated biphenyls, hexachlorobenzene, hexachlorocyclohexane isomers, and pesticide organochlorine residues in cod-liver oil dietary supplements.

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  • 1Pharmacological-Biological Department, Chemistry and Biochemistry Section, Veterinary Medicine Faculty, University of Bari, Strada Prov le per Casamassima Km 3, 70010 Valenzano (Ba), Italy.


Levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), hexachlorobenzene, hexachlorocyclohexane isomers (alpha, beta, gamma), and chlorinated pesticides (DDTs) in cod-liver oil used as a dietary supplement were determined. Total PCB and DDT concentrations varied from 25 to 201 ng g(-1) lipid weight basis and from 25 to 133 ng g(-1) lipid weight basis, respectively. Hexachlorobenzene contributed very little to the overall contaminant burden of dietary supplement oils, whereas hexachlorocyclohexane isomers were below the instrumental detection limits in all samples. The daily intake of PCBs and DDTs derived by the consumption of cod-liver oil at manufacturer-recommended doses varied from 0.004 to 2.01 microg/day and from 0.004 to 1.24 microg/day, respectively. Relative to some dioxin-like PCB congeners (mono-ortho PCB 105, 118, and 156; non-ortho PCB 77, 126, and 169), the intakes calculated varied from less than 0.001 to 0.74 pg of toxic equivalency values (TEQ) per kg of body weight per day. These values, although below the range of 1 to 4 pg of TEQ per kg of body weight per day set by the World Health Organization, emphasize the need for strict and continuous monitoring of fish oil contamination to reduce, as much as possible, the risks to human health.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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