Spatial variations and temporal trends between 1994 and 2005 in polychlorinated biphenyls, organochlorine pesticides and heavy metals in European eel (Anguilla anguilla L.) in Flanders, Belgium

Joachim Maes, Claude Belpaire, Geert Goemans

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    In Flanders, the northern region of Belgium, European yellow eel muscle tissue was used as an indicator of environmental and potential human dietary exposure by hazardous chemicals of surface waters and sediments. Between 1994 and 2005, over 2800 eel captured at 365 stations were analysed for PCBs, pesticides and heavy metals. Contamination of eel in Flanders fell within the range of reported concentrations in other watersheds of Western Europe. A spatial analysis of the data demonstrated that the variation in pollutant concentration tended towards higher values. This was especially evident for PCBs, lindane, endrin, dieldrin and DDE. The concentration of almost all banned substances decreased significantly during the study period.
    Original languageDutch
    JournalEnvironmental Pollution
    Pages (from-to)223-237
    Number of pages14
    Publication statusPublished - 2008

    Thematic list

    • Pollution
    • Water Framework Directive
    • Fisheries (society)

    EWI Biomedical sciences

    • B280-animal-ecology
    • B740-toxicology

    Taxonomic list

    • freshwater eels (Anguillidae)


    • aquatic management
    • monitoring network for policy support
    • fisheries policy
    • public health

    Geographic list

    • Flanders


    • fisheries technology
    • laboratory analysis

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