Shrimps, lobsters… The study draws attention to the concentration of eternal pollutants in seafood


Lobster and shrimp samples tested had the highest concentrations of “perpetual pollutants” among several types of fish and seafood, according to a study published this Friday, April 12.

Frequent consumption of seafood means increased exposure to PFAS, better known as “persistent pollutants”. That, at any rate, is the conclusion of a study published by the journal this Friday, April 12 Exposure and health. It was carried out by approximately ten researchers, mostly from Dartmouth College, University of New Hampshire (United States).

Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), found in waterproof textiles, non-stick pans, fire-fighting foams, cosmetics or medicines, are indestructible and accumulate in the air, soil, water or food, they are an integral part of our daily lives.

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However, in several of them, and according to the French General Inspectorate of the Environment, “harmful and toxic effects on human metabolism have been observed”. “In humans, PFASs have been linked to cancer, abnormalities in fetal development, high cholesterol, and thyroid or liver problems,” the Dartmouth College study authors summarize.

More PFAS in lobster

The researchers thus measured the concentrations of 26 different types of PFAS in different samples of some of the most consumed types of fish and seafood, such as cod, haddock, lobster, salmon, mussels, shrimp and tuna. All of these species were purchased at the New Hampshire market, but they came from different areas.

As a result, lobster samples contained up to 3.3 nanograms of certain PFASs per gram of meat, while the concentration could reach 1.7 nanograms per gram of meat in shrimp. In other fish and seafood, the concentration of PFAS was generally less than one nanogram per gram.

Given the ubiquity of PFAS in the environment, the task of figuring out where these “forever pollutants” ending up in seafood come from is particularly difficult.

“Our recommendation is not to eat seafood. It remains an important source of fatty acids and lean protein. But it is also an underestimated potential source of PFAS exposure for humans,” summarizes Megan Romano, an epidemiologist and one of the authors of the study. .

The researchers therefore insist on the need to introduce stricter recommendations for the public. They would apply to the amount of seafood that consumers can eat without risk to limit their exposure to “perpetual pollutants”.

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