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Formal Report Fish 2008

Formal Report Fish 2008 - Wild Salmon vs Farm-raised Salmon...

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Wild Salmon vs. Farm-raised Salmon: the Determination of Toxic Metals in Fish Samples Kyle J. Simonson The amount of toxic metals in fish has become a significant health concern; the high levels of Arsenic, Mercury, and Cadmium led the Chicago Tribune 1 to claim that it was unhealthy for pregnant women to eat certain types of Fish. Fish absorb these toxic metals from both the surrounding water and from the fish which they consume. Since much of the toxic metal in water is dumped from industrial sources, it was hypothesized that farm raised salmon, being isolated from these industrial sources, will have a lower concentration of Arsenic, Mercury, and Cadmium than their wild counterparts. Using a process to break down the sample and an ICP to analyze the sample, however, the results from our lab proved otherwise, for it is actually farm-raised fish with the highest toxic metal content. Introduction: High levels of toxic metals in the body are very detrimental to the health of the person. Toxic metals such as Mercury, Cadmium, and Arsenic replace nutrient minerals in enzyme binding sites 3 . When they do so, they alter or disable the enzyme, contributing to many health problems. Additionally, toxic metals replace other tissues such as bones or arteries, and these areas are weakened as a result of the replacement process 3 . Lasting effects of continued expose to toxic metals includes diabetes, cancer, or hypothyroidism 3 . Despite these harmful effects, the body has a very difficult time processing the metals and riding them out of the system. In fact, most organisms had trouble riding these metals from their systems. Thus, when we eat them, we absorb their accumulated store of toxic chemicals as well. The most problematic 1
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source in this regard is fish and shellfish. Industry dumps huge amounts of toxic metals into rivers and streams and these metals, in turn, are absorbed by the fish that swim in those waters 2 . The high level of mercury, cadmium, and arsenic prompted the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to limit the amount of toxic metals in fish to 1 ppm (part per million) 2 . With this limit, the FDA suggests that people should limit the amount of fish with higher than 1 ppm to 7 ounces per week and 14 ounces with fish with 0.5 ppm.
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