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Human health risks due to consumption of chemically contaminated fishery products.

Authors
  • Ahmed, F E
  • Hattis, D
  • Wolke, R E
  • Steinman, D
Type
Published Article
Journal
Environmental health perspectives
Publication Date
Oct 01, 1993
Volume
101 Suppl 3
Pages
297–302
Identifiers
PMID: 8143635
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

A small proportion of fishery products contaminated with appreciable amounts of potentially hazardous inorganic and organic contaminants from natural and environmental sources seem to pose the greatest potential for toxicity to consumers of fishery products in the United States. Health risks due to chemicals (e.g., modest changes in the overall risk of cancer, subtle deficits of neurological development in fetuses and children) are difficult to measure directly in people exposed to low levels. Immunocompetence may increase cancer risk. Inferences about the potential magnitude of these problems must be based on the levels of specific chemical present, observations of human populations and experimental animals exposed to relatively high doses, and theories about the likely mechanisms of action of specific intoxicants and the population distribution of sensitivity of human exposure. Lognormal distributions were found to provide good descriptions of the pattern of variation of contaminant concentrations among different species and geographic areas; this variability offers a solution for reduction of exposure through restricting harvest of aquatic animals from certain sites and by excluding certain species. Available information suggest that risks are not generally of high magnitude; nevertheless, their control will significantly improve public health.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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