Research output

PCB exposure through eel consumption in sport fishers as compared to the general population: a probabilistic approach

Research output: Contribution to journalA3: Article in a journal without peer review


  • M Bilau
  • I Sioen
  • C Matthys
  • A De Vocht
  • S De Henauw


Original languageEnglish
JournalOrganohalogen Compounds
Pages (from-to)1737-1740
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2005


Eel (Anguilla anguilla L.), a commonly consumed fish, is known to bioaccumulate lipophilic contaminants such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides. Since 1994, the Flemish eel pollutant monitoring network monitors about 300 different sites in Flanders (the northern part of Belgium). This includes rivers, canals, polder waters and closed water bodies. The concentrations of the sum of the 7 indicator PCBs (PCB congeners 28, 52, 101, 118, 138, 153, 180) measured by this monitoring network, are very high: in 80% of all sampled localities, the Belgian PCB standard for fish (75 ng/g fresh weight) is exceeded. Therefore, in 2002, the Flemish authorities have issued a catch-and-release obligation for all fish in the 5 most polluted waters in Flanders and an overall catch-and-release obligation for eel in Flanders. In spite of this restriction, some sport fishers still take their eel home for consumption. The objective of this study was to assess the intake of the 7 indicator PCBs (iPCBs) in this subgroup and to compare their intake with the exposure of a Flemish background population.
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