Dioxins in fish and fish products

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How do dioxins get into the Baltic Sea

  • Atmosphere
  • Sewage
  • Rivers
  • the North Sea

How do dioxins get into fish

  • food
  • water
  • deposits

Dioxins are industrial by-products which, among others, appear during the burning of municipal and industrial waste which contain chlorine with an insufficient oxygen supply, during forest fires, when burning diesel oils which contain chlorine and in the regular home furnaces. Their presence in the environment is largely connected with human activity.

These substances are toxic. They accumulate in fat and occur in Baltic fish in larger concentrations than in other food products.

Risks to human health connected with dioxins:

  • Toxic impact on the skin – chloracne – irregular eruptions on the skin surface with thickenings and lumps
  • Changes in the thyroid hormone levels which result in a impairment of psychomotor capability
  • Cancerogenicity (lung cancer, gastrointestinal cancer)
  • Danger to women in the first trimester of pregnancy – death of the embryo or development of malformations.
POLLUTANTMAXIMUM LEVEL APPLICABLE UNTIL 2012 AT TEF1998MAXIMUM LEVEL APPLICABLE UNTIL 1ST JANUARY 2012 AT TEF2005
Fish meat and the products derived from it
Total of (WHO-PCDD/F-TEQ) dioxins4 ng/kg fresh mass3.5 ng/kg fresh mass
Total of dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls with properties similar to (WHO-PCDD/F + dl-PCB-TEQ) dioxins8 ng/kg fresh mass6.5 ng/kg fresh mass
Total of indicator polychlorinated biphenyls (ndl-PCB)-75 µg/kg fresh mass
Eel's muscle tissue
Total of (WHO-PCDD/F-TEQ) dioxins4 ng/kg fresh mass3.5 ng/kg fresh mass
Total of dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls with properties similar to (WHO-PCDD/F + dl-PCB-TEQ) dioxins12 ng/kg fresh mass10 ng/kg fresh mass
Total of indicator polychlorinated biphenyls (ndl-PCB)-300 µg/kg fresh mass
Fish liver and products derived from it
Total of dioxins + dl-PCB-20 ng/kg fresh mass
Total of indicator PCB (ndl-PCB)-200 µg/kg fresh mass
TESTED MATERIALWHO-PCDD/F-TEQ [NG/KG]WHO-PCDD/F + DL-PCB-TEQ [NG/KG]NDL-PCB [ΜG/KG]
Fish muscle tissue
Cod0.081.050.4
Herring1.22.517.7
Sprat2.24.6835
Baltic salmon3.59.544.7
Carp0.080.141.4
Trout0.070.395.3
Pollock0.0070.0150.023
Sole0.0090.030.15
Pangasius0.0110.0160.03
Tilapia0.0190.030.12
Fish products
Smoked mackerel0.240.8412.1
Smoked sprat3.68.330.9
Smoked herring0.661.449.5
Smoked Baltic salmon4.5313.1242.7
Smoked Norwegian salmon0.341.7112.6
Smoked trout0.120.584.9
Salted herring fillets0.581.227.8
Marinated herring flaps12.0719.2
Baked mackerel in vinegar0.411.3710.1
Canned fish
Sprat in tomato sauce1.84.123.5
Sprat in oil2.65.635.7
Herring in tomato sauce1.93.620.8
Gdańsk herring1.83.624.7
Tuna in oil0.360.399.1
Mackerel in tomato sauce0.280.96.7
Mackerel in oil0.331.099.7
Sardine in oil0.682.9612.8
Paprykarz szczeciński (canned fish spread)0.71.69.7

Changes in the dioxins + dl PCB content in Baltic fish

wyrkes5

pg/g of wet weight

herring – sprat – salmon