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Shellfish Contaminants Shouldn't Be Ignored

March 13, 2000

I was appalled to read the article praising the nutritional benefits of eating shellfish (Eating Smart, Feb. 14). While it is true that shrimp, crabs, lobster, etc., are high in protein, the author neglected to mention that shellfish are also potentially high in contaminants. The only caveat the piece offered was the dictate not to eat shellfish raw.

It doesn't matter if a person eats his oysters raw or not, he will still ingest dangerous chemicals as a result. All fish absorb whatever is present in the water (and these days, the water is more likely contaminated than not) in which they swim, and shellfish that filter the water are even more adept at incorporating contaminants in their systems. Chemicals continually accumulate inside the bodies of shellfish and can reach concentration levels thousands of times higher than the body of water itself.

--LAUREN B. KLATSKY

Via e-mail

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