What is omega 3 and why do we need it?
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Eating one portion of freshwater fish, such as trout or carp, might expose people to harmful compounds. Doctor David Andrews said: “People who consume freshwater fish, especially those who catch and eat fish regularly, are at risk of alarming levels of PFAS in their bodies.” The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that a “large number of studies” on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) suggest they could cause adverse health outcomes.
Dr Andrews, who led a recent US study on the topic of “PFAS contamination” found that a single serving of freshwater fish may be equivalent to a month of drinking water laced with PFAS at high levels.
“Growing up, I went fishing every week and ate those fish,” said Dr Andrews. “But now when I see fish, all I think about is PFAS contamination.”
Project lead researcher Nadia Barbo, a graduate student at Duke University, commented on the findings.
“The extent that PFAS has contaminated fish is staggering,” she stated.
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“There should be a single health protective fish consumption advisory for freshwater fish across the country.”
The researchers analysed data from more than 500 samples of fish filets collected in America from 2013 to 2015.
The median level of total PFAS in fish filets was 9,500 nanograms per kilo.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) unearthed some alarming findings.
The EWG found freshwater fish in the US had 280 more greater levels of PFAS than commercially caught and sold fish.
According to the CDC, research involving humans suggest that high levels of “certain PFAS” may lead to adverse health outcomes.
High levels of certain PFAS are associated with:
- Increased cholesterol levels
- Decreased vaccine response in children
- Changes in liver enzymes
- Increased risk of high blood pressure
- Increased risk of pre-eclampsia in pregnant women
- Small decreases in infant birth weights
- Increased risk of kidney or testicular cancer.
Fidra, an environmental charity supporting sustainability and preventing pollution, expand on the use of PFAS.
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“PFAS are a group of over 4,700 industrial chemicals, used in a wide range of everyday products, that now pollute air, soil and water worldwide,” the charity notes.
“These ‘forever chemicals’ build-up through food chains, causing long-term damage to wildlife, and are extremely persistent in the environment.”
PFAS have been “linked to a wide range of human health impacts”, Fidra states.
Examples include “growth, learning, and behavioural problems, to cancer, immune system disorders and fertility issues”.
Considered pollutants, as it stands right now, PFAS are not illegal in the UK.
However, the UK Health and Safety Executive is now due to publish an assessment of the health risks of PFAS.
A group of more than 30 NGOs (non-governmental organisation) are calling on the government to introduce a complete ban on non-essential use in the UK.
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