The mono-ortho chlorobiphenyls (CBs) 60, 74, 114, 123, 157, 167 and 189 were determined in Aroclor mixtures and aquatic organisms by multidimensional gas chromatography with electron capture detection (MDGC/ECD), using a combination of an Ultra 2 and an FFAP column. MDGC/ECD is recommended as the most suitable technique for direct determination of these CBs, without a liquid chromatographic (LC) pre-separation of mono-ortho CBs from the other CBs. Dependent, to some extent, on the stationary phase used, single-column determinations of these CBs easily yield too high results due to the presence of interferences. The contribution of the mono-ortho CBs studied to the total 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) equivalents (TEQs) from CBs in fish is highly dependent on the toxic equivalency factors (TEFs) used and varies between 0.02 and 22%. This contribution is mainly due to CBs 74, 114, 157 and 167 which may easily be determined by taking three heart-cuts and combining them into one MDGC/ECD run. The analytical error is negligible compared with the huge uncertainty of the TEFs. A need for more precise TEFs is emphasized. © 1995.