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Estimation of human health risk from polychlorinated biphenyls through consumption of fish from Black Sea, Bulgaria

Stanislava Katelieva Georgieva


INTRODUCTION: The present study evaluates the human daily intake of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) through consumption of fish from the Black Sea, Bulgaria. The health risks were assessed using a risk quotient (RQ) of the fish consumption as the ratio of daily fish exposure level in relation to oral reference dose.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: PCBs were determined in muscle tissue of four fish species widely consumed by the population of Bulgaria: goby (Neogobius cephalargoides), sprat (Sprattus sprattus), horse mackerel (Trachurus Mediterraneus ponticus) and shad (Alosa pontica pontica). Samples were collected from Bulgarian Black Sea coast during 2007 - 2011. The Indicator and dioxin-like PCBs were determined by capillary gas chromatography system with mass spectrometry detection.

RESULTS: The sum of the six Indicator PCBs ranged from 7.2 to 27.3 ng/g ww (in goby and shad, respectively). The EDI of I-PCBs in fish from Black Sea was calculated between 1.36 and 5.14 ng/kg bw day through consumption of goby and shad, respectively. Dioxin - like PCBs were used in order to estimate the toxicity potential (TEQ) of PCB exposure. WHO-TEQs of the 6 `dioxin-like` PCB congeners were calculated from 0.03 pg TEQ/g ww (goby) to 0.28 pg TEQ/g ww (shad) and did not exceed the limit of 3 pg TEQ/g ww, according to European Commission.

CONCLUSION: The estimated intake levels of dioxin-like PCBs in this study were several orders lower than their respective TDI for adults. The dietary intake of polychlorinated biphenyls through marine fish for the Bulgarian consumer does not pose a health risk.


PCBs; fish; dietary intake; Black Sea; Bulgaria

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About The Author

Stanislava Katelieva Georgieva
Medical University of Varna

Department of Chemistry, Chief Assistant Profesor

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