In this study, the concentration, distribution, ecological and health risk assessment of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in water and sediment samples from Udu River, Niger Delta Nigeria, was assessed. Water and sediment samples were collected at five different points along the course of the River, which were in proximity to human population. Water samples were liquid-liquid extracted using a mixture of n-hexane and dichloromethane, while sediment samples were soxhlet extracted using acetone/dichloromethane/n-hexane mixture. Extracted PCB congeners were quantified using a gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer. The results revealed that only PCB-167 was detected in water samples, with concentrations ranging from 0.02–1.86 mg L − 1. For sediment samples, the concentration of Ʃ29PCBs ranged from 5.34 to 16.1 ng g − 1. The determined PCB concentrations in both water and sediment samples were within regulatory limits. The concentration of dioxin-like PCBs (dl-PCBs) ranged from 1.07–5.36 ng g − 1. The toxic equivalence values for dl-PCBs varied between 0.0065–0.018, which were within the sediment quality guideline value of 0.0215 ng g− 1. The calculated health risk assessment values were below the respective risk values for non-cancer and cancer risk evaluations. The results suggest minimal ecological and potential risk linked with exposure to PCBs in water and sediments from Udu River.