PCDD/Fs and DL-PCBs intake from fish caught in Polish fishing grounds in the Baltic Sea--characterizing the risk for consumers.


Fish and fishery products are among the primary sources of dietary exposure to dioxins. It is known that some fish species caught in the Baltic Sea contain elevated level of those compounds. Levels of dioxins and DL-PCBs in 236 Baltic fish samples (including 65 salmon, 14 sea trout, 63 sprat, 63 herring, 31 cod), and 20 cod liver samples from the Polish fishing grounds (the ICES zones 24-27), collected in the time frame of 2006-2011 as part of Polish monitoring survey have been used for risk assessment. To characterize potential health risk associated with dioxins intake, doses ingested in a single portion of fish and cod liver by adults (200g for fish, 125g for cod liver), and children (100g for fish, 25g for cod liver) were expressed as percent of Tolerable Weekly Intake (TWI) and Provisional Tolerable Monthly Intake (PTMI). Average dioxins intake estimated for fatty fish species was about 250% TWI for children, and about 170% TWI for adults, with maximum values of 436.3 and 288.0% TWI, respectively. Maximum exposure expressed as percent of PTMI was below 90% for children and below 60% in adults. For sprat and herring, mean dioxins intakes were lower, but still not at "safe" level: 100-150% TWI for children and about 70-100% for adults, with the maximum values of about 250 and 180%, respectively. Maximum exposure expressed as percent of PTMI was approximately 50% for children and 35% for adults. Intakes values calculated for practically "dioxin-free" cod are just theoretical because in calculating toxic equivalents (TEQs) an upperbound approach was applied, and vast majority of TEQs originates from the limit of quantification (LOQ) values of all non-quantified congeners. Frequent consumption of cod liver seems to be a health risk as, according to assumed scenario, dioxins intake of 100% PTMI for adults would be achieved by the 65th percentile, while for children by approximately 90th percentile of results. Serving sizes of salmonids, cod liver, and even sprat, and herring that lead to total dioxins intake equal to TWI, and PTMI were relatively small. Thus, one can easily exceed those toxicological reference values consuming above Baltic fish species available on the Polish market. Taking into account low fish consumption in Poland and, additionally, low share of Baltic fish in total consumption of marine fish, potential risk of high dioxins intake does not apply to general population. Occasionally elevated dioxins intake above TWI or PTMI is not necessarily related to health risk, because of uncertainty factors embedded in these toxicological reference values. However, some sub-populations in Poland that habitually consume fatty fish originating from the Baltic Sea or Baltic cod liver may be at an elevated health risk of potential consequences of chronic exposure to dioxins. Dietary recommendations based on risk-benefit analysis for consumers of such fish and fishery products from the Baltic Sea would be the most effective tool for risk management.

DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2013.03.002

Cite this paper

@article{Strucinski2013PCDDFsAD, title={PCDD/Fs and DL-PCBs intake from fish caught in Polish fishing grounds in the Baltic Sea--characterizing the risk for consumers.}, author={Pawel Strucinski and Jadwiga Piskorska-Pliszczyńska and Sebastian Maszewski and Katarzyna G{\'o}ralczyk and Małgorzata Warenik-Bany and Szczepan Mikołajczyk and Katarzyna Czaja and Agnieszka Hernik and Jan Krzysztof Ludwicki}, journal={Environment international}, year={2013}, volume={56}, pages={32-41} }