Endocrine-disrupting organochlorine xenobiotics in fish products imported from Asia-an assessment of human health risk

Environ Monit Assess. 2021 Feb 16;193(3):132. doi: 10.1007/s10661-021-08914-5.


The sources of endocrine-disrupting persistent organochlorine compounds (OC) are environmental pollutants. Contaminated food is a direct result of environmental pollution, and fish are considered as the main source of OC in the human diet. This study aimed to analyze the contamination of imported fish fillets with organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners in the context of potential health risks of consumers in Poland in the light of the new tolerable weekly intake (TWI) values. The tested compounds in fish products were determined by liquid-liquid extraction and gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GS-MS) method. Despite the detection of almost all pesticides analyzed in the fish fillets tested, the risk factor (hazard quotient) was significantly lower than 1.0, ranging from 0.003 to 0.013. Considering the previous recommended TWI value (14 pg-TEQ/kg bw/week), the estimated weekly intake was lower at 43-53% of TWI. However, according to the new TWI values set by the EFSA in 2018, the estimated weekly intake was about three times higher than the TWI. This raises concerns regarding threats to consumer health.

Keywords: Assessment of human health risk; Endocrine-disrupting compounds; Imported fish products; Organochlorine pesticides; Polychlorinated biphenyls.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Asia
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Environmental Pollutants* / analysis
  • Fish Products / analysis
  • Food Contamination / analysis
  • Humans
  • Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated* / analysis
  • Pesticides* / analysis
  • Poland
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls* / analysis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Xenobiotics


  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated
  • Pesticides
  • Xenobiotics
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls