Dioxins have been reported to be present at higher levels in farmed salmon. They are associated with numerous adverse health effects like notably cancer but also extending to suppression of the immune system, learning disabilities, increased risk of cardiovascular disease, impaired prostate development, and endometriosis have been reported to be present at higher levels in farmed salmon, possibly resulting from the levels of dioxin-like compounds (DLCs) and other organic contaminants in the feed.

Although the study authors acknowledge recommendations from the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine and the American Heart Associations that frequent consumption of fish is beneficial, the authors suggest that the risk of cancer and other health effects may outweigh the benefits that some types of seafood offer.

To reduce the risk associated with consumption of most farm-raised salmon based on the WHO's guidelines, the study recommends that consumers limit consumption to less than 10 meals per month. For salmon from northern European farms, meal frequencies should be less than four meals per month.

These consumption rates assume that exposure to DLCs is from farmed salmon only and does not account for exposure from other food and environmental sources. When analysed using the EPA methods for dioxin risk assessment, the study concluded that consumption of farmed Atlantic salmon must be even further reduced.

Some limited food preparation practices might help to reduce the risk of consumption of salmon, according to sources cited in the study. The authors write that, "removal of skin and some cooking methods do, in some cases, reduce contaminant levels in the fish. However, the amount of contaminant reduction is highly variable within species, among species, and among contaminants.”

MEDICA.de; Source: Environmental Health Perspectives (NIEHS)