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Chemosphere. 2002 Nov;49(7):765-73.

Levels of dioxins in fish and fishery products on the German market.

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Federal Research Centre of Fisheries, Hamburg, Germany.


In 1995-1998 the contents of polychlorinated dibenzodioxins and dibenzofurans of 184 pooled fish samples were analysed. Sampling focused on fish and fishery products with a market share of more than 1% and covered all fishing grounds important for the supply of the German market. Investigation included 15 different fish species, shrimp, mussel and squid samples and various fishery products, typically on the German market. Generally lean fish species like cod, saithe or Alaska pollock were less contaminated on fresh weight basis than fat fish species like herring, Greenland halibut and sardine. In herring the dioxin content is related to the fishing ground. Low concentrations were found in North Sea herring, high concentrations measured in samples from the Baltic Sea. Dioxin contents in fishery products did not differ significantly from the raw fish samples. Results allow an estimation of the daily intake of dioxins and furans via fish consumption in Germany. Based on a daily fish consumption of 20 g the average intake of dioxins via fish is 6.2 pg WHO-PCDD/F-TEQs per person and day.

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