Scope: The aim of this study was to i) characterize dietary polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxin exposure in consumers of fish from the PCB contaminated Lake Mjøsa in Norway ii) examine the influence of demographic factors on blood concentrations and congener composition of dioxins and PCBs, iii) characterize dietary sources and possible exposures above tolerable intake.
Methods and results: Blood samples were analysed for dioxin-like (dl) compounds (PCDD/Fs and dl-PCBs) and non-dl-PCBs (ndl-PCBs). Dietary exposures were calculated using food frequency questionnaires (n=64). Men had higher median intake of dl-compounds than women (1.2 and 0.85 pg TEQ/kg bw/day), but similar blood concentrations (23.3 and 25.8, pg TEQ/g lipid weight (lw)). For non-dl-PCBs, intakes (6.5 and 4.5 ng/kg bw/day) and blood concentrations (381 and 224 ng/g lw) were higher in men than in women. Blood concentrations correlated with dietary intakes in men only. Increasing BMI and age elevated blood concentrations mainly in women. Men and women had different blood congener profiles, with a higher share of PCB-126 in women, despite similar dietary congener profiles. Eleven participants exceeded the tolerable intake for dl-compounds. Fish from Lake Mjøsa was the main dietary source.
Conclusion: The higher influence of BMI and age for women than for men may have implications for risk assessment.