Potential Health Risks from Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in Marine Ecosystem

Lee, Youn Ju;Jang, Jae-Seok;Yang, Jae-Ho

  • Received : 2016.05.17
  • Accepted : 2016.06.10
  • Published : 2016.06.30


A wide-spread contamination of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) such as dioxins, PCBs, PBDEs in the aquatic ecosystem has generated a great concern over the potential risk for these substances to impact marine biotas and food web. Since a major exposure route of these substances to the humans is through the consumption of food including fish and marine byproducts, the consumption of contaminated products has been a great public health concern. Exposure to POPs has been associated with a wide spectrum of adverse effects including reproductive, developmental, immunologic, carcinogenic, and neurotoxic effects. This review covers the background information of key POPs substances and the recent development of toxicity studies including the mode of action. Because neurotoxic effects of some POPs have been observed in humans at low concentrations, polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), a representative chemical of POPs, is focused to discuss the possible mode(s) of action for the neurotoxic effects. This review provides the updates of toxicity studies on POPs and paves ways to discuss a possible implication of contaminated marine biota over the human health among the marine biotechnology researchers.


Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs);PCBs;Neruotoxicity;Marine;Ecosystem


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