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Fish In All Global Oceans Contain Toxic Pollutants

Update Date: Feb 02, 2016 02:07 PM EST

The fish around the world's seafood is full of industrial, agricultural and persistent organic pollutants (POPs), according to an analysis by researchers from the University of California, San Diego.

However, the positive note is that the pollutants have been declining over the last three decades.

The team analysed hundreds of peer-reviewed articles dated between 1969 to 2012. Most pollutants, such as older "legacy" chemicals including DDT and mercury, along with recent industrial chemicals such as flame retardants and coolants were examined.

"Based on the best data collected from across the globe, we can say that POPs can be anywhere and in any species of marine fish," Stuart Sandin, a coauthor of the study, said in a press release.

Concentrations in the edible meat of fish shows a great variation. Just moving from one kind to another displays a massive variation. Moreover, the POPs were higher in the 1980s than they are today. In fact, a 15 to 30 percent drop has been seen in every decade.

"This means that the typical fish that you consume today can have approximately 50 percent of the concentration of most POPs when compared to the same fish eaten by your parents at your age," said Lindsay Bonito, lead author of the study. "But there still remains a chance of getting a fillet as contaminated as what your parents ate."

Hence, the levels of the POPs in the fish were much below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines, which pointed to the response of the global community to increasing, harmful chemicals into the air.

The study was published in the Jan. 28,2016 issue of PeerJ.

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