Pollution Alert Sparks Cancer Fears over Poison Shellfish
Byline: CHRISTIAN GYSIN
SHELLFISH containing potentially dangerous levels of cancer-causing metals have been found around the shores of England and Wales.
Mussels and oysters reared in designated fisheries breach food safety standards proposed by the European Union.
The scare comes just weeks after Government researchers reported that 'undesirable' levels of two carcinogenic dioxins and PCBs had been found in fish fingers.
Ministry of Agriculture scientists have now been told of high levels of cadmium, lead, arsenic and mercury polluting the stocks of many fisheries.
The research, commissioned four years ago, covered 70 'designated production areas'.
Last night environmental campaigners called on the Government to clamp down on factory emissions and pollutants being pumped into our atmosphere and food chain.
Draft EU rules propose a limit of 1.5 milligrams of cadmium per kilogram of food. Oysters from Porthcawl, South Wales, were found to contain 2.1-2.4mg per kg.
The report said this was 'probably due to smelting operations in Avon-mouth, steel works at Newport and the coalfired power station at Aberthaw'. These sites are operated respectively by Britannia Zinc, British Steel and National Power.
Mussels from Silloth, near Mary-port in Cumbria, contained 1.8-1.9mg per kg. One source of the metal is Albright and Wilson's phosphate works close to Whitehaven.
High levels of the metal were also found in mussels from the north Kent coast and Swale estuary. …