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Survey of Dioxins and Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) in Processed Fish and Fish Products


In support of the UK Food Standards Agency*s (FSA) requirement for a survey of dioxins and PCBs in processed fish and fish products, 165 samples of these commodities were analysed for polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The samples were provided by the FSA via a sub-contractor (Ventress Technical Services) and were collected during April – June 2005. This report provides concentrations for each sample of individual dioxin and PCB congeners that have been assigned a WHOTEF value. A range of additional non-dioxin-like PCB congeners that include the ICES 7 compounds are also reported. This data will complement an earlier FSA study on the levels of these contaminants in farmed and wild fish and shellfish.


The reporting limits quoted for non-ortho-PCBs, ortho-PCBs and dioxin congeners are consistent with the requirements for WHO-TEQ measurement given in EU commission directive 2002/69/EC. In practical terms these were typically as low as 0.01 ng/kg fat for PCDD/Fs, 0.01 ng/kg fat for non-ortho-PCBs and 0.01 µg/kg fat for the ortho- PCBs. <P>
Measurement uncertainty estimates calculated as per the Eurachem guide have been reported for all the individual PCDD/PCDF and PCB congeners. Measurement uncertainty from this data has been extrapolated to the total dioxin and PCB WHOTEQ values (upper and lower bound) for individual samples and these are also included. <P>
Results presented in this report are expressed on a fat weight basis, for consistency with other data sets. The fat contents of all samples are included in the report and the Ó WHO-TEQ values have been calculated on both, a fat weight as well as a whole weight basis, to aid interpretation of the data.

More information

Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the <a href="; target="_blank">Food Standards Agency Research webpage</a>.

White, Shaun; Fernandes, Alwyn
Central Science Laboratory
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