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NOAA finds flame-retardant in shellfish

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) - A federal report says flame-retardant
chemicals have been found in shellfish in all U.S. coastal waters,
including Mobile Bay.

The chemicals - polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs - have
been used in many products since the 1970s, in everything from
laptop computers, couches and pajamas to plastics and electronic
devices.

Lab tests have shown PBDEs to be toxic to animals.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report,
released Wednesday, did not suggest any definitive health risks
linked with the trace levels found in Mobile Bay's oysters and
mussels.

It found that oysters in the bay had lower levels of the chemicals in them than oysters from neighboring Louisiana and Florida.

The testing found the highest levels in the waters around Los
Angeles, New York and other heavily populated, industrialized
areas.


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