Consuming fish may result in greater exposure to persistent pollutants like DDT than a plant-based diet as these compounds bioaccumulate up the food chain. Factory-raised fish generally have higher levels of DDT and other pesticides than wild-caught fish. Dairy and canned bamboo shoots from China are other food sources of DDT.
The DDT half-life in the human body is as long as ten years, and DDT residues were found in 95% of mothers’ umbilical cord blood samples decades after its agricultural use was banned. The greater a woman’s exposure to the DDT metabolite, DDE, the higher the weight gain risk for their daughters. Estrogen-mimicking environmental metabolites of DDT may explain how exposure may lead to genital birth defects.
Topic summary contributed by Randy.