Keywords: diet, fish oils, organochlorines, PCBs, polychlorinated biphenyls, pesticides, dietary supplements, contamination, environmental pollution, lipophilic organic chemicals
Organochlorine pesticide and PCB residues in pharmaceutical, industrial and food grade fish oils
Oils rendered from whole fish and from fish offal are an important primary dietary item in many areas of the world. In addition, fish oils are used extensively in the food industry as raw materials and ingredients. An extensive specialist market also exists for fish oils in dietary supplements. Traditionally, benefits have been conferred by their high vitamin D content in the prevention and cure of rickets in children. Therapeutic benefits in the treatment of cardiovascular, arthritic and dermatological disease have also been identified. Fish oils, however, are also susceptible to contamination with lipophilic organic chemicals. Many organochlorine chemicals are now ubiquitous contaminants of marine ecosystems. This paper reports analytical results for a selection of commercially available and industrial grade fish oil samples, compares the values with historical samples, and discusses their potential contribution to dietary intakes of organochlorine chemicals.