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Trenton, NJ, United States

Pflugh K.K.,401 E. State St. | Stern A.H.,401 E. State St. | Lurig L.,401 E. State St. | Ruppel B.,401 E. State St. | Buchanan G.A.,401 E. State St.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2011

The Newark Bay Complex (NBC) is a significant historical repository of polychlorinated dibenzodioxins (PCDDs) and dioxin-like compounds. Detection of high levels of 2,3,7,8 tetrachloro-dibenzodioxins (TCDD) and its toxicological equivalents in blue crabs in the early 1990's led to a ban on the taking and distribution of crabs from the NBC. Despite this ban and ongoing communication outreach, surveys of crabbers in 1995, 2002 and 2005 by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) showed that crabbing for recreational purposes and for significant dietary supplementation was continuing. At the time they were surveyed, the crabbers had been consuming these crabs for an average of 37% of their lives. Thus, exposure can be considered chronic. The surveys provided data on the duration, frequency and amount of NBC crab consumption. In 2004, the NJDEP sampled blue crabs in the NBC and analyzed the edible portions for 2,3,7,8 TCDD toxicity equivalent (TEQ) concentration. We have combined the survey-based exposure data and the 2,3,7,8 TCDD TEQ concentration data to produce an estimate of the lifetime cancer risk to NBC crabbers from dioxin-like compounds. We employed a point-estimate approach using discrete lower, central tendency and reasonable maximum exposure (RME) estimates of exposure factors and a probabilistic approach to exposure factors. Both approaches show central tendency lifetime cancer risk of greater than one-in-a-thousand (10 -3) and an upper percentile/RME risk of approximately one-in-a-hundred (10 -2). Little extrapolation is involved in applying the 2,3,7,8-TCDD TEQ concentration data in crabs to risk estimates in the population consuming those crabs. The ongoing and frequent nature of the crab collection minimizes the uncertainty often inherent in food recall surveys. These estimates point to the continued risk posed to NBC crab consumers and to the continuing importance of this resource which, with proper remediation, could provide ongoing benefit to the surrounding community. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. Source

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