Environmental contaminants in fish and possible adverse health effects

Fish is healthy food with a good nutritional value, but in addition to nutrients, people who eat fish are exposed to numerous contaminants from the environment. For this reason, it is recommended to use limited amounts of Baltic salmon, trout and large (longer than 17 cm) herrings in our diet. This dietary advice on fish consumption is supported by Evira`s many monitoring studies of contaminants in Baltic sea fish.

Food control

Food control authorities carry out studies to monitor contaminant levels in fish: municipal food control authorities control the levels in their own area and Evira implements control on a national level as well as in border control. The control of fish feed is also within Evira's scope of responsibility.

Each municipality shall know the status of its water bodies and communicate this information to the residents of the municipality. If limit values are exceeded, action shall be taken to identify the source of the releases.

Requirements for fish consumption restrictions are based on safety assessments conducted by European Food Safety Authority EFSA and World Health Organisation WHO. The Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI) per one kilogram of body weight has been laid down for the various environmental toxins. Risk management measures are designed to ensure that the TDI value is not exceeded.