The present study was conducted to reveal the concentrations and patterns of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in seven species of freshwater food products (Procambarus clarkii, Ctenopharyngodon idellus, Parabramis pekinensis, Hypophthalmichthys molitrix, Cyprinus carpio, Aristichthys nobilis, and Carassius auratus) collected from aquaculture farms around Changsha, People's Republic of China. The OCPs and PCBs in the muscle tissue of these species were analyzed to assess the health risk associated with dietary intake. The mean concentrations of OCPs and PCBs were 6.38 to 15.90 and 3.18 to 5.12 ng g−1 wet weight, respectively. Heptachlor and δ-HCH were the main OCP contaminants in the tested samples, accounting for >74% of the total OCPs. PCB52 was the main PCB, accounting for >88% of the total PCBs. The bioaccumulation of OCPs and PCBs in these aquatic products depends upon the species. C. idellus had the highest concentrations of OCPs, and H. molitrix had the highest concentrations of PCBs. The mean lipid concentration in these freshwater species was 6.08 to 19.8% (dry weight) and was significantly correlated with the concentrations of OCPs and PCBs. The health risk from consumption of these freshwater species was assessed based on the hazard ratios and hazard quotient, and consumption of these products was determined to pose a carcinogenic risk.

  • Distribution of OCPs and PCBs was investigated in aquaculture products in Changsha.

  • Heptachlor, δ-HCH, and PCB52 were the main OCP pollutants.

  • Bioaccumulation of OCPs and PCBs depended on the aquatic species.

  • Consumption of some freshwater species from this area poses carcinogenic risks.

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