Water Pollution Regulations Underestimate Fish Consumption, Endangering Public Health
One fillet of fish a month. That’s about how much seafood a Washington State resident eats, according to the assumptions used to set cleanliness standards for the state’s abundant rivers, streams, lakes and coastal waters. But many experts say that estimate, which influences the safety of the state’s salmon, clams and other edible aquatic life, doesn’t jive with reality.
“It’s a gross underestimate,” says Catherine O’Neill, a law school professor and faculty fellow at the Center for Indian Law and Policy at Seattle University. She said the one-fillet-a-month metric is too low for the general population, and an even worse estimate for the large number of Asian Americans and native tribes in the Pacific Northwest, for whom seafood plays a central dietary role.
“People are recommended to eat more fish than that, irrespective of culture,” O’Neill tells The Huffington Post. The American Health Association advises eating the omega-3-rich food at least twice a week.
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