Eel consumption as a pathway of human exposure to PCBs
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were measured in edible eel tissues from two locations on the River Severn, UK. The levels reported (mean = 114 ng SigmaPCB g-1 and 2.75 pg i-TE g-1 on a fresh weight basis) were within the range reported elsewhere in the UK, but were considerably lower than in watercourses such as the River Rhine. Based on limited data on UK human consumption patterns, eel ingestion clearly constitutes a significant source of PCB exposure for some individuals. Although the exposure estimates reported were below the WHO's TDI for dioxin-like chemicals, it is considered that greater understanding is required of human absorption of such chemicals present in contaminated foodstuffs and their potential role in controlling human tissue levels.
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