Effect of Native American fish smoking methods on dietary exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and possible risks to human health

J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Jul 11;60(27):6899-906. doi: 10.1021/jf300978m. Epub 2012 Jun 27.


Although it is known that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) can be found in smoked meats, little is known about their prevalence in Native American smoked fish. In this work, the effect of traditional Native American fish smoking methods on dietary exposure to PAHs and possible risks to human health has been assessed. Smoking methods considered smoking structure (tipi or shed) and wood type (apple or alder). Neither smoking structure nor wood type accounted for differences in smoked salmon content of 33 PAHs. Carcinogenic and noncarcinogenic PAH loads in traditionally smoked salmon were 40-430 times higher than those measured in commercial products. Dietary exposure to PAHs could result in excess lifetime cancer risks between 1 × 10(-5) and 1 × 10(-4) at a daily consumption rate of 5 g d(-1) and could approach 1 × 10(-2) at 300 g d(-1). Hazard indexes approached 0.005 at 5 g d(-1), or approximately 0.3 at 300 g d(-1). Levels of PAHs present in smoked salmon prepared using traditional Native American methods may pose elevated cancer risks if consumed at high consumption rates over many years.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinogens / analysis
  • Cooking / methods*
  • Food Contamination
  • Health
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons / analysis*
  • Salmon
  • Seafood / analysis*


  • Carcinogens
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons