ABSTRACT: Currently, environmental studies describing levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in imported shrimp are limited, particularly studies of aquaculture shrimp. In the present study, we measured concentrations of the 209 PCB congeners in 84 uncooked, warm-water shrimp samples from the United States and 14 other countries in three continents. Total PCB and dioxin-like PCB (DL-PCB) levels were not significantly different between wild-caught and farm-raised shrimp, and the distribution of total PCB levels did not vary considerably by country of origin although significant differences were observed in some cases. Regional trends in both total PCB and DL-PCB concentrations were observed, with the highest concentrations measured in shrimp from North America followed by Asia and then South America. The lower chlorinated homologues (i.e., mono-, di-, and tri-PCBs) generally comprised a greater fraction of the total levels measured in farm-raised shrimp and shrimp from Asia and South America whereas higher chlorinated homologues (i.e., hepta-, octa-, nona-, and deca-PCBs) contributed more to levels in wild-caught shrimp and shrimp from North America. Estimated daily intake of PCBs associated with shrimp consumption ranged from 2 pg/kg/d (shrimp from South America) to 15 pg/kg/d (shrimp from North America). Results from the present study were comparable to other studies conducted recently and demonstrate that exposure to PCBs from consumption of farm-raised and wild-caught shrimp imported from different regions are not likely to pose any health risks.
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 03/2012; 31(5):1063-71. · 2.81 Impact Factor