Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) in Fish Roe

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are a suite of 209 possible chlorinated structures, or congeners, having lipophilic properties. They are persistent pollutants that bioaccumulate in the environment and have been suspected to cause a variety of health effects in humans, including cancer. Humans may be exposed to PCBs through consumption of contaminated food items, such as fish, meat and dairy products. Previous studies have shown that fish may contain high PCB levels through exposure to these contaminants in water and ingestion of contaminated prey items. Additional studies suggest that female fish may shunt PCBs from their body via roe production. The objective of this study was to quantify the presence and levels of 110 PCB congeners in six roe samples commonly sold as caviar.