Levels of Polychlorinated Biphenyls in Foods from Catalonia, Spain: Estimated Dietary Intake
From June to August 2000, food samples were randomly acquired in seven cities in Catalonia, Spain. Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) concentrations were determined for 108 samples of vegetables, fruits, pulses,
cereals, fish and shellfish, meats and meat products, eggs, milk and dairy products, and oils and fats. Levels of 11 PCB congeners (IUPAC 28, 52, 77, 101, 105, 118, 126, 138, 153, 169, and 180) were determined
by high-resolution gas chromatography–high-resolution mass spectrometry. For toxic equivalent (TEQ) calculations, World Health Organization (WHO) toxicity equivalent factors (WHO-TEFs) were used.
The highest levels of most congeners were found in fish and shellfish (11,864.18 ng/kg [wet weight]), and the next highest levels, which were substantially lower, were found in milk and dairy
products (674.50 ng/kg [wet weight]). For the general population of Catalonia, the total dietary intake of PCBs was found to be 150.13 pg WHO-TEQ/day. The largest contribution to this intake came
from fish and shellfish (82.87 pg WHO-TEQ/day) and dairy products (29.38 pg WHO-TEQ per day). A relatively large contribution was also noted for cereals (11.36 pg WHO-TEQ/day). Among the PCB congeners determined
in this study, PCB 126 showed the largest contribution to total TEQ intake (50.56%). The data obtained in this study should be useful in risk assessment with regard to human PCB exposure through
food in Catalonia.
Document Type: Research Article
Laboratory of Toxicology and Environmental Health, School of Medicine, Rovira i Virgili University, San Lorenzo 21, 43201 Reus, Spain
Department of Health and Social Security, Generalitat de Catalunya, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
Department of Analytical Laboratory, MPU GmbH, 10829 Berlin, Germany
Publication date: March 1, 2003
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