Browsing by Subject "PCDD/FS"

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-2 of 2
  • Tuomisto, Jouni; Asikainen, Arja; Meriläinen, Päivi; Haapasaari, Päivi (2020)
    Background: Health risks linked with dioxin in fish remain a complex policy issue. Fatty Baltic fish contain persistent pollutants, but they are otherwise healthy food. We studied the health benefits and risks associated with Baltic herring and salmon in four countries to identify critical uncertainties and to facilitate an evidence-based discussion. Methods: We performed an online survey investigating consumers’ fish consumption and its motivation in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, and Sweden. Dioxin and methylmercury concentrations were estimated based on Finnish studies. Exposure-response functions for several health endpoints were evaluated and quantified based on the scientific literature. We also quantified the infertility risk of men based on a recent European risk assessment estimating childhood dioxin exposure and its effect on sperm concentration later in life. Results: Baltic herring and salmon contain omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, and the beneficial impact of these fishes on cardiovascular diseases, mortality, and the risk of depression and cancer clearly outweighs risks of dioxins and methylmercury in people older than 45 years of age and in young men. Young women may expose their children to pollutants during pregnancy and breast feeding. This study suggests that even in this critical subgroup, the risks are small and the health benefits are greater than or at least similar to the health risks. Value of information analysis demonstrated that the remaining scientific uncertainties are not large. In contrast, there are several critical uncertainties that are inherently value judgements, such as whether exceeding the tolerable weekly intake is an adverse outcome as such; and whether or not subgroup-specific restrictions are problematic. Conclusions: The potential health risks attributable to dioxins in Baltic fish have more than halved in the past 10 years. The new risk assessment issued by the European Food Safety Authority clearly increases the fraction of the population exceeding the tolerable dioxin intake, but nonetheless, quantitative estimates of net health impacts change only marginally. Increased use of small herring (which have less pollutants) is a no-regret option. A more relevant value-based policy discussion rather than research is needed to clarify official recommendations related to dioxins in fish.
  • Haapasaari, Paivi; Ignatius, Suvi; Pihlajamaki, Mia; Sarkki, Simo; Tuomisto, Jouni; Delaney, Alyne (2019)
    This article focuses on the dioxin problem of Baltic herring and salmon fisheries and its governance that is based on natural scientific knowledge. The dioxin problem weakens the perceived quality of Baltic salmon and herring as food and affects the way the catches can be used. This influences negatively the fishing livelihood, the coastal culture, and the availability of the fish for consumers. We explored how the governance of the dioxin problem could be improved, to better address its socio-economic and cultural implications. We identified four main actions: (1) adopt environmental, economic and social sustainability, and food security and safety as shared principles between the environmental, food safety/public health, and fisheries policies, (2) establish collaboration between the environmental, public health, and fisheries sectors at the regional level, (3) enhance interaction around the dioxin problem within the fisheries sector, and (4) support the participation of the Baltic fisheries stakeholders in the EU-level food safety governance. Viewing dioxins in fish not only as a natural scientific problem but as a multidimensional one would enable a wider toolbox of governing instruments to be developed to better address the different dimensions. This would support steps towards collaborative governance and a food system approach.