Food Sources of Flame-Retardant Chemicals

Food Sources of Flame-Retardant Chemicals
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Other than pet food and fish (which may be most contaminated), how do fire-retardant chemicals (PBDEs) and polychlorinated naphthalenes (PCNs) concentrate in the American food supply?

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

What are they eating in New York? I bet it’s more than just big apples. You may remember me covering this study a few years ago, which showed that the primary sources of flame-retardant chemicals in the American diet (with the exception of infants, who get all the pollution straight from their moms) are meat, fish, dairy, and eggs.

But, which kind of meat is the worst? We didn’t know, until recently. We know fish is the worst—and this is for halibut, which is actually one of the least contaminated. But, in terms of other meats, second only to fish in terms of contamination—poultry; then pork; then beef. What’s this one here, though, between chicken and fish? Turkey.

So, bottom line: white meat is more contaminated with flame-retardant chemical pollutants than red, though the highest concentrations are actually found in dogs’ and cats’ food.

What about polychlorinated naphthalenes? Until this study was published, “Information on the occurrence of [these] toxicologically significant [industrial pollutants] in food, or on human exposure, [was] sparse.”  “…PCNs…are chlorinated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons—a potentially vast group of little-known environmental contaminants of [human] origin,” whose chemical structure “can bestow a dioxin-like mode of toxic action.” Say no more.

Though banned in many countries, which aisle might we still find the most in the grocery store? The bread shelves? The dairy case? Would it be in the deli? The egg section? Fish counter? Or, would it be in the produce department?

The worst was fish, with the worst of the worst—farmed salmon—followed closely by organic salmon. Then comes poultry and eggs. Let’s zoom in a bit here. Red meat has less; the worst being lamb. Then comes dairy.

And, at the bottom of the food chain, vegetables, fruit, and bread. So, about ten times less than meat, dairy, and eggs. And, about a hundred times safer than fish—which gives us an idea of the route we may want to take through the supermarket.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

What are they eating in New York? I bet it’s more than just big apples. You may remember me covering this study a few years ago, which showed that the primary sources of flame-retardant chemicals in the American diet (with the exception of infants, who get all the pollution straight from their moms) are meat, fish, dairy, and eggs.

But, which kind of meat is the worst? We didn’t know, until recently. We know fish is the worst—and this is for halibut, which is actually one of the least contaminated. But, in terms of other meats, second only to fish in terms of contamination—poultry; then pork; then beef. What’s this one here, though, between chicken and fish? Turkey.

So, bottom line: white meat is more contaminated with flame-retardant chemical pollutants than red, though the highest concentrations are actually found in dogs’ and cats’ food.

What about polychlorinated naphthalenes? Until this study was published, “Information on the occurrence of [these] toxicologically significant [industrial pollutants] in food, or on human exposure, [was] sparse.”  “…PCNs…are chlorinated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons—a potentially vast group of little-known environmental contaminants of [human] origin,” whose chemical structure “can bestow a dioxin-like mode of toxic action.” Say no more.

Though banned in many countries, which aisle might we still find the most in the grocery store? The bread shelves? The dairy case? Would it be in the deli? The egg section? Fish counter? Or, would it be in the produce department?

The worst was fish, with the worst of the worst—farmed salmon—followed closely by organic salmon. Then comes poultry and eggs. Let’s zoom in a bit here. Red meat has less; the worst being lamb. Then comes dairy.

And, at the bottom of the food chain, vegetables, fruit, and bread. So, about ten times less than meat, dairy, and eggs. And, about a hundred times safer than fish—which gives us an idea of the route we may want to take through the supermarket.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Nota del Doctor

My mention of New Yorkers is a reference to Pollutants in Californian Breast Tissue. The PBDE video I then refer to is Flame-Retardant Chemical Contamination. The highest levels of pollutants in fish should come as no surprise. Everything eventually flows down into our oceans, which have become humanity’s de facto sewer. This is exemplified in videos such as Food Sources of PCB Chemical PollutantsIs Distilled Fish Oil Toxin Free?; and Xenoestrogens & Early Puberty. Then, there’s the whole mercury issue. For videos on that, see Nerves of MercuryHair Testing For Mercury Before Considering Pregnancy; and The Effect of Canned Tuna on Future Wages. Tomorrow, we look at how much of the banned pesticide DDT we’re still passing along to the next generation in DDT in Umbilical Cord Blood.

For additional context, check out my associated blog posts: Pollutants in Californian Breast TissueProtecting Our Babies From PollutantsWhy Are Children Starting Puberty Earlier? and Fukushima Radiation and Seafood.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

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