A New Study Suggests That Seafood In New England Contains Toxic “Forever Chemicals” That Are Linked To Health Issues Like Thyroid Problems And Cancer

ahirao - - illustrative purposes only

Hoards of tourists flock to New England each summer to enjoy iconic coastal views and classic seafood. So, favorites like shrimp and lobster are common dinner fare among both locals and visitors alike.

However, a recent study conducted by researchers at Dartmouth College has highlighted a potential downside of this East Coast tradition: it could expose people to a group of durable, synthetic toxins called PFAS.

PFAS, or “per-and poly-fluoroalkyl” substances, are chemicals that have been used in consumer products ever since the 1950s. They are best known for their use in stain-resistant fabrics and non-stick cookware, though they are also present in a range of other items.

But, even though these substances have added some convenience to our daily lives, they still come with the troubling label of “forever chemicals.”

PFAS are notorious for their durability, hardly breaking down in the environment and often persisting for decades. They can accumulate in soil, water, and biological organisms. The longevity of these chemicals is alarming, especially since exposure to certain types of PFAS has been associated with various health problems such as thyroid issues, reproductive disorders, and cancer.

As for how these substances end up in our seafood, forever chemicals can actually make their way into aquatic environments through several pathways – including industrial discharges, runoff from landfills, and the application of PFAS-laden firefighting foams. Then, once these chemicals are in the water, they are absorbed by fish and marine life.

To better understand this hazard, the Dartmouth team conducted a comprehensive two-part study. First, they collected fresh seafood from a market on the New Hampshire coast and tested it for 25 different PFAS compounds.

The study targeted commonly eaten species in the area, such as haddock, cod, salmon, lobster, shrimp, scallops, and tuna.

The findings showed that various PFAS compounds were present in the seafood, with shrimp and lobster showing the highest levels. In some instances, the concentrations were significant enough to potentially pose a health risk, particularly for individuals who frequently consume these types of seafood.

ahirao – – illustrative purposes only

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