Assessment of risk of PCDD/Fs and dioxin-like PCBs in marine and freshwater fish in Pearl River Delta, China

Xi WEI, Kelvin S Y LEUNG, Ming Hung WONG, J. Giesy, Zongwei CAI, Chris K C WONG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Fish consumption is known to be beneficial to human health. However since the age of industrialization, the released/disposed chemical pollutants into water systems make fish a source of various environmental toxicants to humans. In oceanic cities with heavy industrial activities, fish products contribute the greatest proportion of exposure to pollutants. In this study, risks and potential effects of dioxins to health of coastal populations in the Pearl River Delta were assessed. Concentrations of polychlorinated dibenzo- p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were measured in common fish species purchased at local markets. Concentrations of total dioxins in fish ranged from 0.481 to 9.05. pg TEQ/g wet weight were similar to the lesser concentrations reported for fish from other countries. The greatest concentrations of dioxins were measured in mandarin fish, a carnivorous freshwater fish. Exposure of murine primary leydig and ovarian cells to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorinated dibenzo- p-dioxins (2,3,7,8-TCDD) reduced the synthesis of progesterone, testosterone and/or estrogen. The reductions were probably via inhibitory effects on the expression of the steroidogenic enzymes, steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) and cytochrome P450 side-chain cleavage enzyme (P450scc). Based on these reproductive parameters, the concentrations of dioxins and dioxin-like residues represent a moderate health risk due to consumption of fish.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-171
Number of pages6
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Issue number5-12
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution

User-Defined Keywords

  • Fish
  • Leydig cells
  • Ovarian cells
  • Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins
  • Polychlorinated dibenzofurans


Dive into the research topics of 'Assessment of risk of PCDD/Fs and dioxin-like PCBs in marine and freshwater fish in Pearl River Delta, China'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this