The Importance Of Seafood

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1. Introduction Seafood is a staple protein source in many countries, thus its safety for human consumption is essential for food security, quality of life and the environment. However, seafood can contain unsafe levels of the heavy metal Cadmium (Cd), in whom biomagnification can cause Cd levels to be as much as one million times higher than the ambient environment. The health hazard of Cd exposure was first recognised in the early 1950s. Some effects include renal disease and pre-diabetes. This paper considers a Bangladeshi case study of heavy metal contamination in prawns and prawn feed, aiming to illustrate whether seafood is safe for human consumption from the perspective of Cd contamination. 2. Discussion 2.1 Cadmium Cd is a toxic,…show more content…
gives an overall picture of Bangladesh’s aquatic ecosystem heavy metal contamination. Cd is found in relatively high concentrations, with the highest levels in plants and crustaceans. Plants access potentially polluted groundwater, and runoff pollutants have a high level of Cd. Crustaceans and filter feeders have the greatest exposure to the sediment - which is recognised as the most important sink for heavy metal contaminants (17). Figure 1- Trace element accumulation and trophic relationships in aquatic organisms in 2015 (Bangladesh) (18) 3. Conclusion In the general, non-smoking population, diet is the primary mode of exposure to the heavy metal Cd, which is present in seafood and in highest concentration in crustaceans and filter fish. The metal causes renal disease can and pre-diabetes. Men are at higher risk of renal disease than women, although women have lower stores of iron which enable cadmium to build up faster in the liver and not be excreted. The Bangladesh case study explored the risk to locals of their prawns which form an important part of their diet. The skin of prawns contains the most cadmium. In Dhaka city, where the main diet is fish and rice, many locals are zinc and iron deficient, which makes it more difficult for their bodies to excrete Cd. Thus, in a world of increasing industrialisation and consequent increased risk of Cd contamination, it is essential to regularly monitor seafood and research pubic health to update the standard for ‘safe’ levels of Cd, encourage a nutritionally balanced diet to limit the effects of exposure, and take measures to limit contamination. In terms of diet, that may mean reducing seafood intake and/or no longer consuming prawn skin. Without such measures, seafood may become less safe for human consumption, risking food both food safety and

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