All 209 congeners of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in edible fish tissue from the central Red Sea coast (Jeddah region) of Saudi Arabia were analyzed by isotope dilution high-resolution gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. The upper-bound total PCB (ΣPCB) levels in nine commonly consumed fish species from three areas were 0.2–82.5 ng/g wet weight (17–8450 ng/g lipid weight), which were at the lower end of reported global range and far below international tolerance limits (500–3000 ng/g ww). Dioxin-like congeners contributed up to 12.8% (mean 6.5%) to ΣPCB in tissue samples, with the total PCB toxic equivalencies (TEQs) at a tolerable range (0.05–2.6 pg TEQ/g ww or 2–238 pg TEQ/g lw) for all species. PCB profiles were dominated by moderately chlorinated homologs, mainly hexachlorobiphenyls, but less chlorinated congeners were also consistently elevated, notably in Siganus rivulatus (Area III) and Mugil cephalus (Area I). It remains to be ascertained if the latter were breakdown products or due to fresh inputs. The top congeners based on dominance by both occurrence and abundance were identified as potential markers of ΣPCB in fish tissue, which can be used for future selective biomonitoring in case of reasonable constraints on full congener approach.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Waste Management and Disposal
- Toxic equivalence