Some Tuna Can Carry Up To 36 Times The Toxic Chemicals Of Others. Here’s Why – NPR

At my age I’m not going to waste time being concerned about how much pollutants I am consuming (I spent my youth running behind mosquito foggers, so I feel lucky to be alive!). But for those of you pregnant and nursing, along with any of you raising small children, this should be a big yellow flag, and I would consider monitoring your intake of tuna.

We have allowed the planet’s oceans to turn into our cesspools under the deluded notion that “the solution to pollution is dilution” (pun intended). We show no intention of slowing this slide. Now a new study shows that some places, oddly North American coastal areas, are polluting our natural food sources worse than other places, like the Indian Ocean. The samples from the North East Pacific Ocean were taking off California, not the Gulf of Alaska. So, this is a new thing to ask about at the fish store. Be sure to buy your fish from someone who can tell you when and where it was caught. A real fish monger is an educational resource.

A new study may prompt hand wringing among you tuna poke and sushi lovers. When it comes to pollutant levels, researchers now say where your tuna was caught matters. In a first-of-its-kind global study, scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego analyzed 117 yellowfin tuna taken from 12 locations worldwide, measuring the contaminant levels of each. They found yellowfin tuna caught closer to more industrialized locations off North America and Europe can carry 36 times more pollutants — including pesticides, flame retardants and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) — than the same species caught in more remote locations, like in the West Pacific Ocean. Clare Leschin-Hoar reports. (NPR)

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