Unsafe levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in seafood were allowed by the FDA after the BP oil spill in 2010, according to a new study.
PAHs are chemicals found in oil, industrial pollution and urban run-off that can cause cancer, birth defects, neurological delays and liver damage.
Researchers from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NDRC) said the FDA seriously underestimated the cancer risk from contaminants that can accumulate in seafood.
They criticized the agency’s approval of commercial fishing to resume in the Gulf of Mexico after the oil spill disaster, AP reports.
The study found that by using flawed assumptions and outdated risk assessment methods, the FDA allowed contamination up to 10,000 times the level deemed safe.
The FDA also failed to identify risks for pregnant women and children, according to the study.
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