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Levels of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) and Three Organochlorine Pesticides in Fish from the Aleutian Islands of Alaska
Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. (Institute for Health and the Environment, University at Albany, Rensselaer, New York)
Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. (Institute for Health and the Environment, University at Albany, Rensselaer, New York)
Institute for Health and the Environment, University at Albany, Rensselaer, New York.
Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey.
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2010 (English)In: PloS one, ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 5, no 8Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Persistent organic pollutants (POPs), including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and chlorinated pesticides, have been shown to have many adverse human health effects. These contaminants therefore may pose a risk to Alaska Natives that follow a traditional diet high in marine mammals and fish, in which POPs bioaccumulate. METHODS AND FINDINGS: This study examined the levels of PCBs and three pesticides [p, p-DDE, mirex, and hexachlorobenzene (HCB)] in muscle tissue from nine fish species from several locations around the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. The highest median PCB level was found in rock sole (Lepidopsetta bilineata, 285 ppb, wet weight), while the lowest level was found in rock greenling (Hexagrammos lagocephalus, 104 ppb, wet weight). Lipid adjusted PCB values were also calculated and significant interspecies differences were found. Again, rock sole had the highest level (68,536 ppb, lipid weight). Concerning the PCB congener patterns, the more highly chlorinated congeners were most common as would be expected due to their greater persistence. Among the pesticides, p, p-DDE generally dominated, and the highest level was found in sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka, 6.9 ppb, wet weight). The methodology developed by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) was used to calculate risk-based consumption limits for the analyzed fish species. For cancer health endpoints for PCBs, all species would trigger strict advisories of between two and six meals per year, depending upon species. For noncancer effects by PCBs, advisories of between seven and twenty-two meals per year were triggered. None of the pesticides triggered consumption limits. CONCLUSION: The fish analyzed, mainly from Adak, contain significant concentrations of POPs, in particular PCBs, which raises the question whether these fish are safe to eat, particularly for sensitive populations. However when assessing any risk of the traditional diet, one must also consider the many health and cultural benefits from eating fish.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 5, no 8
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-59061DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012396OAI: diva2:349764
Available from: 2010-09-08 Created: 2010-09-08 Last updated: 2010-09-08

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