Organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) inCyprinidaefish: Towards hints of their arrangements using advanced classification methods

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Abstract

To tackle the ever-present global concern regarding human exposure to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) via food products, this study strived to indicate associations between organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in lake-fish tissue depending on the species and sampling season. Apart from the monitoring initiatives recommended in the Global Monitoring Plan for POPs, the study discussed 7 OCPs and 18 PCB congeners determined in three Cyprinidae species (rudd, carp, and Prussian carp) from Vransko Lake (Croatia), which are widely domesticated and reared as food fish across Europe and Asia. We exploit advanced classification algorithms, the Kohonen self-organizing maps (SOM) and Decision Trees (DT), to search for POP patterns typical for the investigated species. As indicated by SOM, some of the dioxin-like and non-dioxin-like PCBs (PCB-28, PCB-74, PCB-52, PCB-101, PCB-105, PCB-114, PCB-118, PCB-156 and PCB-157), α-HCH and β-HCH caused dissimilarities among fish species, but regardless of their weight and length. To support these suggestions, DT analysis sequenced the fish species and seasons based on the concentration of heavier congeners. The presented assumptions indicated that the supplemental application of SOM and DT offers advantageous features over the usually rough interpretation of POPs pattern and over the single use of the methods.

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