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Sci Total Environ. 2013 Jan 15;443:218-25. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.10.090. Epub 2012 Nov 25.

Effects of skin removal on contaminant levels in salmon and trout filets.

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University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 3E5.


Skin removal is a generally accepted method to reduce exposure to contaminants through fish consumption. However, inconsistent results from studies on the effectiveness of this method suggest influence of other factors such as characteristics of contaminants and fish species. This study investigated the effects of skin removal on the lipid contents and concentrations of total mercury, α-chlordane, hexachlorobenzene, mirex, octachlorosytrene, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane (DDD), and dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE). Four fish species namely brown trout (Salmo trutta), Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tschawytscha), coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) sampled from the Credit River, Ontario, Canada were considered. Concentrations of all the lipophilic organic contaminants decreased significantly (median 17-37%) after removing skins from filets of brown trout, Chinook salmon and coho salmon, but not of rainbow trout. In contrast, the concentrations of mercury tended to be either similar or marginally higher after removing skins from filets of all four species; however, the amount of mercury would have likely declined or remained unchanged. Overall, removal of skin before consuming a fish filet is recommended to reduce exposure to contaminants widely found in Ontario fish.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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