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Environ Toxicol Chem. 2007 Jan;26(1):13-23.

Predicting World Health Organization toxic equivalency factor dioxin and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyl levels in farmed Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) based on known levels in feed.

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  • 1National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research, P.O. Box 2029, Nordnes 5817, Bergen, Norway.


Assimilation and elimination rate constant of dietary polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (DLPCBs) with a World Health Organization toxic equivalency factor (WHO-TEF) were estimated in market-size Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) using fish that were previously fed vegetable oil-based (low in PCDD/Fs and DLPCBs) or fish oil-based (high in PCDD/Fs and PCBs) diets. At the start of the kinetic trial, half the fish that were fed fish oils were fed vegetable oil feeds and inverted (cross-over design) for five months. The assimilation efficiencies of the PCDD/F congeners were more variable (3-89%) and, generally, were lower than those of the DLPCBs (70-80%). Among the PCDD/F congeners, the assimilation efficiency of the most toxic tetra- and pentachlorinated PCDD/Fs was greater than that of higher-chlorinated PCDD/Fs. Elimination rates for DLPCBs were higher than those for PCDD/Fs. Lower-chlorinated PCDDs had a lower elimination rate than the higher-chlorinated PCDDs, but no differences were observed among PCDF congeners or DLPCB congeners. Kinetic parameters were used to predict the level of WHO-TEF dioxins and DLPCBs in Atlantic salmon reared in a large-scale facility under commercial conditions. Predictions were based on preanalyzed levels of these organochlorines in feeds with three different replacement levels (0, 30, and 60%) of vegetable oil. A simple one-compartmental, first-order kinetic model was used to predict the level of sum WHO toxic equivalents for PCDD/Fs and DL-PCBs. The predicted values varied by 0 to 11% from the measured values in the commercially reared salmon.

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