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Eating seafood frequently can increase the risk of 'forever chemicals' exposure, says study

Studies have shown that "forever chemicals" exposure by eating too much seafood raises the risk of cancer, foetal abnormalities, high cholesterol, and thyroid, liver, and reproductive disorders.

Written By : Health Desk Edited By : Kristina Das
New Delhi
Published on: April 12, 2024 19:00 IST
seafood chemical risk
Image Source : FREEPIK A study has found that eating too much seafood can increase 'forever chemicals' exposure risk.

According to a study, eating seafood more frequently can raise your risk of exposure to a class of industrial chemicals known as per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also referred to as "forever chemicals," even though eating lobster, shrimp, tuna, and other seafood may help to increase your Omega-3 levels.

Experts from Dartmouth College in the UK noted that guidelines for safe seafood consumption exist for mercury and other contaminants, but not for PFAS. The study stresses the need for more stringent public health guidelines that establish the amount of seafood people can safely consume.

"Our recommendation isn't to eat seafood -- seafood is a great source of lean protein and omega fatty acids. But it also is a potentially underestimated source of PFAS exposure in humans," said Megan Romano, corresponding author and Associate Professor of Epidemiology at Dartmouth College's Geisel School of Medicine in the UK.

"Understanding this risk-benefit trade-off for seafood consumption is important for people making decisions about diet, especially for vulnerable populations such as pregnant women and children," Romano said.

In the study, the team measured the levels of 26 varieties of PFAS in samples of the most consumed marine species: cod, haddock, lobster, salmon, scallop, shrimp and tuna.

The findings, published in the journal Exposure and Health, showed that shrimp and lobster carry the highest concentrations with averages ranging as high as 1.74 and 3.30 nanograms per gram of flesh, respectively, for certain PFAS compounds.

PFAS, which break down very slowly over time and can persist over thousands of years in the environment, are potentially harmful to people, wildlife, and the environment.

(With IANS Inputs)

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