Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Flame retardant levels much higher in farmed salmon

12.08.2004


Farm-raised salmon contain much higher levels of flame retardants than most wild salmon, and some wild Chinook have the highest levels of all, according to new research. Building on an earlier study of chemicals in the two types of fish, the findings suggest that consumers should choose their salmon carefully.



The report appeared online Aug. 10 in Environmental Science & Technology, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society.

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), which are used widely as flame-retardant additives in electronics and furniture, are released into the environment both at their manufacturing sources and through everyday product wear and tear, according to the researchers.


They measured PBDEs in 700 samples of farmed and wild salmon from around the world, including most major salmon-producing regions. The study, which is by far the largest of its kind, used the same samples from an earlier study that revealed significantly higher levels of organochlorine chemicals like PCBs and dioxins in farmed salmon than in wild.

With one exception, they report, all farm-raised samples had much higher levels of flame retardants than wild salmon. They also found that farmed salmon from Europe had higher levels than those from North America, and that both European and North American farm-raised salmon had higher levels than those raised in the southern hemisphere.

One surprising outcome of the study was that wild Chinook salmon from British Columbia had the highest average PBDE levels of all the samples. "There’s something about Chinook that’s different, particularly with PBDEs," says the study’s lead author, Ronald Hites, Ph.D., an environmental chemist at Indiana University. The elevated levels could be related to the Chinook’s feeding behaviors, according to the researchers. Among all the wild species in the study, Chinook tend to feed higher in the food web and grow to be larger fish.

While it’s difficult to make direct comparisons, the concentrations found in farmed salmon are similar to levels that have been measured in people in recent years, Hites says.

The findings suggest that, in spite of the heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids found in all salmon, consumers should limit their intake of farmed salmon and wild Chinook. They should also insist that all salmon be clearly labeled to indicate its source, the researchers say.

From the data in their earlier study on PCBs and dioxins, the researchers recommended eating two meals of farmed salmon per month or less, based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards. But since no standards exist yet for PBDEs, a similar quantitative suggestion can’t be made.

Little is known about the specific toxic effects of brominated flame retardants, but public health officials are concerned because they have been associated in laboratory studies with various nervous system and reproductive effects, such as impaired learning and development.

There are other reasons for concern as well, according to Hites. "If you’re a chemist and you draw the structure, they look a lot like PCBs," he explains. "We have a long history of PCBs being environmentally persistent."

"Secondly, the concentrations are going up, and that seems to me to be a bad idea," Hites continues. While levels of all the organochlorine chemicals from the previous study are on the wane, PBDEs have been rising continuously for the past few years, he says.

Officials are still debating the fate of flame retardants in the United States, although the main U.S. manufacturer recently announced plans to discontinue their use as part of a voluntary agreement with the U.S. EPA. The European Union has banned two types of PBDEs — the penta and octa formulations — and is currently considering a ban on the deca formulation.

Michael Bernstein | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.acs.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Value from wastewater
16.08.2017 | Hochschule Landshut

nachricht Species Richness – a false friend? Scientists want to improve biodiversity assessments
01.08.2017 | Carl von Ossietzky-Universität Oldenburg

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>