Food web transfer of dioxins and other organic contaminants in the Western Scheldt: implications for human and environmental health
Van den Heuvel-Greve, M.; Leonards, P.E.G.; Vethaak, D. (2006). Food web transfer of dioxins and other organic contaminants in the Western Scheldt: implications for human and environmental health. CM Documents - ICES, CM 2006(G:08). International Council for the Exploration of the Sea: Copenhagen. 7 pp.
In 2005 a baseline study was conducted to assess the occurrence of dioxins (PCDD/Fs) and other organic contaminants (PCBs, PAHs, PBDEs, HBCD, PFOS/PFOA) in the estuarine environment of the Western Scheldt in the south-west of the Netherlands. Sediment was sampled along a transect and samples from two simple food chains were collected near Terneuzen. The samples were analysed for both food safety and environmental quality purposes. Dioxin concentrations in fish and fishery products did not exceed current EU standards, although concentrations in A. Anguilla approached these limits. A new standard for both dioxins and dioxin-like PCBs will come into effect on November 4 2006 and will shine a new light on the outcomes of this study. Some contaminants showed a clear gradient with decreasing concentrations from the Belgian border towards the estuary mouth. Contaminants that accumulated in both the benthic and pelagic food chain were PCBs, lower brominated PBDEs and PFOS. Potential benefits and drawbacks of simultaneous sampling and combined use of data for food safety and environmental health purposes are briefly discussed.
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