Can Pregnant Women pass on Persistent Organic Pollutants by Eating Fish

Atlantic Cod

image via – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cod

In an alarming new finding, it appears that, in order to avoid passing on certain harmful chemicals – POPs, or persistent organic pollutants – to their unborn children, potential mothers may be forced to decide to avoid eating fish at all, for many years, according to what a new study reveals.

It turns out that environmental scientists have recently calculated just exactly how long a woman would need to avoid fish consumption for, in order to reduce the amount of (POPs) that she may pass on, and the results are frightening. It seems that after a full year of abstention, replacing fish with vegetables in her diet, a reduction of only 9% would occur in prenatal exposure to polychlorinated biphenyl-153 – PCB-153.

Going without for a further four years would lead to a 37% reduction, and even after THIRTY years the exposure would only have reduced by 85%. The horror is that in people. POP exposure has been linked, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, to immunologic adverse health effects, as well as neurologic, endocrine, reproductive, developmental and behavioural problems.

The big worry is that United States current  FDA  guidelines are aimed squarely at  reducing  intake of methylmercury from fish by pregnant women, but not POPs. It is known that the Mercury can be harmful to the foetus nervous system, but where Mercury naturally clears out of a woman’s system after approximately one year. the POPs do not.

This chemical group includes the banned pesticide DDT, and does not easily flush out of the system,  building up in fat, to be passed on to whatever predator dines on that fat, including humans, who can finish up with the heaviest loads of pollutants in their systems. The best advice is to eat  things like shrimp, canned light tuna,  Pollock and catfish,  seafood known to be generally low in pollutants.

 


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