Document Detail

Concentrations of selected persistent organochlorine contaminants in store-bought foods from northern Alaska.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16277115     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVES: We address marine and terrestrial mammal blubber, liver, muscle, kidney, heart, tongue, maktak and maktaaq (epidermis and blubber from bowhead, beluga whales, respectively), and fish muscle and livers, as commonly consumed tissues in subsistence communities across northern Alaska in the context of organochlorine (OC) contamination of store-bought foods. Human exposure to contaminants from biota, as part of a subsistence diet, has been superficially evaluated in numerous studies (focused on liver and blubber), but are limited in the type of tissues analyzed, and rarely consider the contaminants in the alternatives (i.e., store-bought foods). STUDY DESIGN: Concentrations from published literature on selected persistent organochlorine contaminants (OCs) in eight tissues of the bowhead whale and other biota (1) were compared to store-bought foods evaluated in this study. RESULTS: As expected, store-bought foods had lower concentrations of OCs than some tissues of the marine mammals (especially blubber, maktak, and maktaaq). However, blubber is rarely eaten alone and should not be used to give consumption advice unless considered as a portion of the food item (i.e., maktak). This study indicates that the store-bought food alternatives have detectable OC concentrations (e.g., < 0.01 to 22.5 ng/g w.w. for hexachlorobenzene) and, in many cases, have greater OC concentrations than some subsistence food items. Many wildlife tissues had OC concentrations similar to those quantified in local store-bought food. CONCLUSIONS: Switching from the traditional diet to western store-bought foods will not always reduce exposure to OCs. However, raw blubber-based products are clearly more contaminated with OCs due to lipid content. A detailed profile of traditional/country foods and western foods consumed by subsistence communities of northern Alaska is required to address chronic exposure in more detail for the diverse sources of foods (subsistence use and commercially available) and the widely varying concentrations of contaminants reported therein. This should be combined with biomonitoring people dependent upon subsistence foods. Further assessment of essential and non-essential elements, emerging contaminants (e.g. brominated flame retardants), etc. should be conducted in order to improve our understanding of the differences and similarities between wildlife and store-bought foods.
Todd M O'Hara; Paul F Hoekstra; Cyd Hanns; Sean M Backus; Derek C G Muir
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  International journal of circumpolar health     Volume:  64     ISSN:  1239-9736     ISO Abbreviation:  Int J Circumpolar Health     Publication Date:  2005 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-11-09     Completed Date:  2005-12-12     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9713056     Medline TA:  Int J Circumpolar Health     Country:  Finland    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  303-13     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Wildlife Management, North Slope Borough, Barrow, Alaska, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Environmental Exposure / analysis,  statistics & numerical data
Food Contamination / analysis*,  statistics & numerical data
Food Supply / statistics & numerical data*
Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated / analysis*
Meat / analysis*,  statistics & numerical data
Seafood / analysis,  statistics & numerical data
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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