Popular wisdom Says: Eat fish. It’s good for you. Wait, no. Don’t! Fish contains toxic chemicals that you shouldn’t consume. If you’re as confused as we are about the conflicting messages about the risks and benefits of including fish in your diet, you’re not alone. We’re not sure how well the government is regulating the safety of your salmon, so we figure it’s better to be safe than sorry. Here are 7 chemicals that could be hiding in your seafood. If you think we’re being paranoid, let us know in the comments (or just keep eating whatever fish you want).
1. PBDEs. Used most often in furniture, textiles, and household electronics, PBDE is a flame retardant that has been found in fish from the West Coast.
2. PCBs. Watch out for striped bass, sturgeon, and shad — they all have hazardous traces of PCBs. Though PCBs have been prohibited in manufacturing since the late 1970s, they still contaminate the nation’s bodies of water.
3. Chlorinated Dioxins. This industrial chemical is found in many wild and farmed fish populations. You should limit your consumption of Atlantic salmon because of this known carcinogen, according to the Environmental Defense Fund.
4. DDT. This pesticide is another chemical that is prohibited now, but still contaminates our waters. It has corrupted areas containing shrimp, crayfish, and fish.
5. Oil. Remember that shady “smell test” being used in Louisiana to determine if seafood was safe for consumption? The results of the “smell test” have determined that redfish, speckled trout, and mullet are safe to eat, while oysters and blue crabs are not. We wonder how some got less contaminated than others.
6. Arsenic. Waters are contaminated with arsenic when coal ash combustion wastewater flows into bodies of water. Arsenic can cause health issues like liver poisoning, bladder cancer, and liver cancer.
7. Melamine. This industrial chemical is frequently added to fish food. The United Nations set a maximum level of melamine contamination for food and infant formula, since it has been linked to kidney problems.