Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are chemical substances that persist in the environment and bio-accumulate through the food web. POPs may be linked to a range of health concerns, including endometriosis, gum disease, fibrosis, diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular mortality. Those eating plant-based diets may be significantly less polluted with industrial toxins than omnivores.
Fish may be the biggest source of POPs for consumers along with milk. Farmed Atlantic salmon, the kind of salmon most commonly found in restaurants and supermarkets, may be the single largest food source of POPs. Perflurochemicals, which may enter the body mostly through meat and fish, may be linked to thyroid disease risk. It can take the body as long as 10 years to get rid of about one-half of certain ingested POPs such as dioxins and PCBs.
Topic summary contributed by Linda.