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Farm-bred salmon contaminated

Posted - Aug. 10, 2004 at 1:40 p.m.



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BLOOMINGTON, Ind., Aug 10, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- U.S. researchers say farm-raised salmon contain higher levels of chemical flame retardants commonly found in upholstery and plastics than do wild salmon.

Ronald Hites of Indiana University and his colleagues summarized their discoveries in the latest issue of the journal Environmental Science and Technology, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Tuesday.

Hites analyzed 700 farmed and wild salmon samples from wholesalers and supermarkets in Chicago and around the world and found higher levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs, in the farmed fish.

The findings are based on data from a much-publicized study released in January that found higher levels of potentially cancer-causing compounds called polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, in farmed vs. wild salmon.

The significance of the findings are disputed.

Eric Rimm, a professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, pointed out PBDEs also are present in other sources, including drinking water.

He cautioned consumers against thinking "taking salmon out of your diet is going to rid yourself of PCBs and PBDEs."

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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