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Title: Evaluation of the contamination of marine algae (seaweed) from the St. Lawrence River and likely to be consumed by humans

The goal of the study was to assess the contamination of marine algae (seaweeds) growing in the St. Lawrence River estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence and to evaluate the risks to human health from the consumption of these algae. Algae were collected by hand at low tide. A total of 10 sites on the north and south shores of the St. Lawrence as well as in Baie des Chaleurs were sampled. The most frequently collected species of algae were Fucus vesiculosus, Ascophyllum nodosum, Laminaria Longicruris, Palmaria palmata, Ulva lactuca, and Fucus distichus. Alga samples were analyzed for metals iodine, and organochlorines. A risk assessment was performed using risk factors. In general, concentrations in St. Lawrence algae were not very high. Consequently, health risks associated with these compounds in St. Lawrence algae were very low. Iodine concentration, on the other hand, could be of concern with regard to human health. Regular consumption of algae, especially of Laminaria sp., could result in levels of iodine sufficient to cause thyroid problems. For regular consumers, it would be preferable to choose species with low iodine concentrations, such as U. lactuca and P. palmata, in order to prevent potential problems. Furthermore, it would alsomore » be important to assess whether preparation for consumption or cooking affects the iodine content of algae. Algae consumption may also have beneficial health effects. Scientific literature has shown that it is a good source of fiber and vitamins, especially vitamin B{sub 12}.« less
Authors:
; ; ; ;  [1]
  1. CHUQ, Sainte-Foy, Quebec (Canada). Centre de Toxicologie du Quebec
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
355613
Report Number(s):
CONF-9705313-
Journal ID: ENVRAL; ISSN 0013-9351; TRN: IM9931%%133
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Research; Journal Volume: 80; Journal Issue: 2Pt2; Conference: Health conference `97, Montreal (Canada), 12-15 May 1997; Other Information: PBD: Feb 1999
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 56 BIOLOGY AND MEDICINE, APPLIED STUDIES; ST LAWRENCE RIVER; WATER POLLUTION; FOOD CHAINS; HEALTH HAZARDS; MAN; ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS; ALGAE; METALS; IODINE; ORGANIC CHLORINE COMPOUNDS