Date
25 May 2017
Salmon and other seafood contain a higher concentration of toxic pollutants and should be eaten in moderation. Photo: Bloomberg
Salmon and other seafood contain a higher concentration of toxic pollutants and should be eaten in moderation. Photo: Bloomberg

Ten slices of salmon a day could harm your health

More than one in five food samples tested by the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) contained NDL-PCBs, pollutants that could cause cancer or harm the hormonal system of people who consume them, the Ming Pao Daily reported Friday.

Salmon products had the highest content of NDL-PCBs, 5.7 mg per kilogram.

If an adult consumes more than 105 g, about 10 or 11 slices, of salmon every day, his or her endocrine and immune systems could be damaged.

Twenty-one percent of all the 284 food samples the CFS tested contained NDL-PCBs. 

Fish and seafood samples contained the highest level of the pollutants, averaging 0.89 to 0.93 mg per kg, followed by meat, poultry and game, with 0.01 mg to 0.07 mg per kg.

Dr. Samuel Yeung Tze-kiu, principal medical officer of the CFS, said the health risk from NDL-PCBs faced by Hongkongers is not particularly high, taking into account their eating habits.

While fish is a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids, proteins and other nutrients, Yeung recommended eating different types of fish to avoid excessive intake of pollutants.

He said removing the fat from food would also lower the intake of NDL-PCBs, as the pollutants accumulate in fat.

Professor Michael Lam Hon-wah of the department of biology and chemistry at the City University of Hong Kong said a person could risk exceeding the ceiling by eating more than 100 g of salmon each day.

Lam recommended adhering to a balanced diet.

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