PCB (Polychlorinated biphenyls) were widely used chemicals used in electrical and mining operations. Due to their hazards to human health, production of PCBs was stopped in the 1980s. However, trace amounts of PCB have persisted in the environment, and may accumulate in fatty animal tissue. The term Dioxin actually represents a collection of hundreds of toxic by products of industrial processes. These chemicals mainly form in reactions that involve, chlorine, incineration, pesticide manufacture, and bleaching, and are among the most hazardous chemicals currently known. Check your state advisories to avoid potential risks from seafood and fish.
art credit: UVM Safety Graphics Library
October 26 ,2006 - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that data through 2003 showed that mollusks collected at 250 sites nationwide, particularly mussels and oysters, showed decreased levels of chemical toxins. This decrease has been attributed to the bans and restrictions that have been placed on polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), chlorinated hydrocarbons, tributyltin and cadmium in past years. For more information, read the NOAA press release
Study results detailing contamination of farmed salmon made 38th on Discover Magazines annual top 100 stories in science (January 2005). The research, performed at SUNY Albany tested over 700 fish from North America, South America, and Europe, and found 14 organochlorides that are known carcinogens. The study has been contested by American salmon farmers.
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