Shrimp and Lobster dishes may have elevated PFAS risk

Precise News

Your next lobster thermidor may just come with a side order of “forever chemicals”.
According to a recent study of seafood caught off the New Hampshire coast, lobster and shrimp contained high levels of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), the human-made toxins thought to elevate cancer risks.
Based off their findings – published in Exposure and Health – the researchers warn that safety standards for PFAS are urgently needed in seafood.
A different kettle of toxin PFAS are a growing concern around the world.
But some people may still be more exposed to PFAS than others – seafood lovers, for instance.
Romano and her team discovered that shrimp and lobster had the highest PFAS concentrations; averages ranged as high as 1.74 and 3.30 nanograms per gram of flesh, respectively, for certain PFAS compounds.
Concentrations of individual PFAS in fish and other seafood generally measured less than one nanogram per gram.
Two common types of PFAS (PFOA and PFOS) now cannot exceed 4 parts per trillion in public drinking water, while 3 other PFAS chemicals (PFOS, GenEx Chemicals and PFHxS) will be restricted to 10 parts per trillion.


A side order of “forever chemicals” might accompany your next lobster thermos.

A recent study on seafood collected off the coast of New Hampshire found that high concentrations of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), man-made toxins believed to increase the risk of cancer, were present in lobster and shrimp.

The researchers warn that there is an urgent need for safety standards for PFAS in seafood based on their findings, which were published in Exposure and Health.

A different kind of poison.

PFAS are becoming a global source of concern. In the middle of the 20th century, the surfactant family was first manufactured in large quantities to waterproof consumer goods like paints, pans, and packaging. Because of their nearly unbreakable, highly fluorinated alkyl chain backbone, which makes them incredibly chemically stable and difficult for nature to break down, they are now referred to as “forever chemicals.”.

This hardiness is especially concerning in light of recent studies that connect the chemicals to low birth weights, high cholesterol, and cancers. The US Department of Health and Human Services reports that most Americans already have some amount of PFAS in their blood, so avoiding the chemicals doesn’t seem to be an option either.

However, some people—seafood lovers, for example—may still be more exposed to PFAS than others. Researchers worry that people who frequently eat fish, crustaceans, and other marine foods may be consuming dangerously high levels of PFAS because the chemicals are known to wash up in streams and gather in oceans.

Dartmouth College researchers bought fresh seafood from a market in coastal New Hampshire, a US state known for its robust fishing industry, and examined the samples for 26 different forms of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in order to gain additional insight.

Megan Romano, an associate professor of epidemiology at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine and one of the study’s researchers, said in a statement, “We saw that as a knowledge gap in the literature, especially for a New England state where we know people love their seafood.”.

By analyzing averages of up to 1.74 and 3.30 nanograms per gram of flesh, respectively, for specific PFAS compounds, Romano and her team found that the highest concentrations of PFAS were found in shrimp and lobster.

Because these shellfish live and feed on the seafloor and are close to coastal sources of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) like rivers and industrial outflows, the researchers speculate that these species may be particularly susceptible to the accumulation of PFAS in their flesh.

Individual PFAS concentrations in fish and other seafood are typically less than one nanogram per gram.

Fishy behaviors.

The researchers surveyed 1,829 people in New Hampshire about how much seafood they ate, and the results were quite significant.

In the state, men consume slightly more than one ounce (30 grams) of seafood on average, while women consume slightly less than one ounce. Both numbers represent seafood consumption that is more than 1.5 times higher than the US average. For children in New Hampshire between the ages of 2 and 11, the daily allowance was approximately 0 point 2 ounces, which is at the highest end of the national average.

More than 70% of adults reported eating shrimp (as well as fish like haddock and salmon) at least once a month when it came to the more alarming species that was tested. Only slightly over 54% of these adults ate lobster, making it a less common food choice.

Despite this, Romano and her associates continue to have doubts regarding the safety of consuming such crustaceans, especially since there are currently no laws limiting the amount of persistent aflatoxins (PFAS) in seafood. Romano advises seafood lovers to eat a healthy, balanced diet and practice moderation in the absence of such laws or more thorough research.

“People who consume more meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products typically have higher blood concentrations of PFAS, as we know from studies of the US general population,” she said to Technology Networks. The significance of maintaining a well-rounded diet comprising an extensive range of nutritious foods is highlighted by this, as it prevents any one protein source from constituting an excessive amount of your diet. “.

To keep PFAS contamination out of our food chain altogether, she said, “I think this also emphasizes the need for stricter regulations around it.”.

Although there is still a chance that PFAS will find its way into US food chains and water systems, the federal government has limited its presence with at least one recent, noteworthy action. The US has never had national limits of this kind on any of the six types of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The Biden Administration announced on April 10 that it had finalized such limits.

Three additional PFAS chemicals—PFOS, GenEx Chemicals, and PFHxS—will be limited to 10 parts per trillion, while two common forms of PFAS—PFOA and PFOS—can no longer be found in public drinking water at concentrations greater than 4 parts per trillion.

Megan Romano was addressing Leo Bear-McGuinness, Technology Networks’ science writer.

Regarding the individual being interviewed.

Dr. Romano teaches epidemiology as an assistant professor at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine. Her studies mainly look at the effects of early life development, breastfeeding, mother and infant hormones, exposure to environmental endocrine disrupting chemicals during pregnancy, and nursing practices.

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