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J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Oct 19;53(21):8406-13.

Levels and trends of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins/furans (PCDD/Fs) and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in Spanish commercial fish and shellfish products, 1995-2003.

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Department of Instrumental Analysis and Environmental Chemistry, General Organic Chemistry Institute (CSIC), Juan de la Cierva 3, 28006 Madrid, Spain.


The polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin (PCDD), dibenzofuran (PCDF), and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contents of 123 Spanish commercial salmon, tuna fish, sardine, oyster, mussel, and clam samples from 1995 to 2003 were investigated. A significant decrease of dioxin and non-ortho PCB concentrations in the studied species was found over the years. The decrease was greater in the case of dioxins than in that of non-ortho PCBs, especially during the early years of the study. PCB and PCDD/F concentrations in the years 2001-2003 were comparable to those reported in the literature for similar species collected after 1999. Mean PCB concentrations ranged from 3.46 ng/g of fresh weight (fw) in clams to 100 ng/g of fw in tuna fish. PCDD/F mean current levels ranged from 0.62 pg/g of fw in clams to 2.89 pg/g of fw in oysters. Toxic equivalent quantities (WHO-TEQ) ranged from 0.05 pg of WHO-TEQ(PCDD/Fs)/g of fw in clams to 0.5 pg of WHO-TEQ(PCDD/Fs)/g of fw in salmon (in the upper bound determination levels). When coplanar PCBs were included, the WHO-TEQ(PCDD/Fs+cop) (PCBs) values increased by a range of 1.7 times in oysters to 14.1 times in tuna fish. The decrease in dioxin concentrations suggests that efforts to control dioxin emissions and to reduce human exposure through foodstuffs are succeeding. The high contribution of PCBs to total WHO-TEQs in the fish and shellfish species investigated suggests that it is important to determine PCBs in foodstuffs, and especially in fish products, and they should be included in further research and future legislation.

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