I've told you before that wild salmon is healthier for you to eat than farmed salmon. This may no longer be true. The difference between the two has narrowed with the results of a new study released August 10 in the journal, Environmental Science & Technology.
Traces of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), found in fire retardants, have been found in both wild and farm-raised salmon around the world. Some wild salmon from the Pacific Northwest had higher levels of this contaminant than farmed fish. The same researchers, headed by Ronald A. Hites of Indiana University, who found a carcinogen, PCB, in farm-raised salmon, made this discovery.
PBDEs can cause nerve damage in young children, according to Rob Duff, director of the Washington Health Department's Office of Environmental Health Assessment. Their cumulative effect on adults is presently unknown. Although PBDEs are still being made, some U.S. manufacturers have decided to stop producing them. In a few years, they will be banned in California, Maine, and throughout Europe. This is a good enough sign to me of their potential dangers.
Bottom line: I can no longer say that wild salmon is good, safe food. Nor is there any reason to believe that other fish are free from PBDEs. This chemical is already 10-20 times higher in people from North America than from other parts of the world.
This information was enough cause for concern for me to send this special bulletin to you today. Please pass it along to your friends, and suggest that they sign up for their own free subscription at http://www.womenshealthletter.com.
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Hites, Ronald A., et al. "Global assessment of polybrominated diphenyl ethers in farmed and wild salmon," Environmental Science and Technology, August 2004.
Your voice of reason in Women's Health,
Dr. Janet Zand