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1. Pesticide run-off into the oceans causing arsenic and
heavy metal contamination. Lead and mercury has also
2. Fertilizer run-off into the oceans causing petroleum-
fueled, oversized seaweed.
3. Oil-spill dispersant contamination from the gulf oil spill.
4. Radiation contamination-- seaweed sucks up radiation like
a sponge. Fukushima nuclear reactor showed us this.
5. Fresh water seaweeds such as spirulina absorb
contamination which deposited from soil contamination run-
off and radioactive fall out.
Spirulina is a form of cyanobacterium, known to produce
toxins such as microcystins. Microcystins can cause
gastrointestinal disturbances. Over time mycrocystinscan
lead to liver cancer. Chronic exposure to even very low
levels of microcystins expose consumers to the potential risk
WARNING: Don't rely on a seaweed sales company to test. Unless
you are prepared to pay a lab to test EACH batch of seaweed you
buy personally-- as soon as you buy it-- consider the seaweed
Many people report allergies to seaweeds. It's not known whether
it's the environmental contaminants or some mutation that causes
Also, remember the iodine content of seaweed evaporates
(sublimes) quickly after harvesting. You don't know how long the
seaweed has been in a warehouse.
Gilroy, D., Kauffman, K., Hall, D., Huang, X., & Chu, F. (2000).
Assessing potential health risks from microcystin toxins in
blue-green algae dietary supplements. Environmental Health
Perspectives 108 (5): 435–439. doi:10.2307/3454384. JSTOR
3454384. PMC 1638057.
Belay, Amha (2008). "Spirulina (Arthrospira): Production and
Quality Assurance". Spirulina in Human Nutrition and Health,
CRC Press: 1-25.
"Blue-green algae". MedlinePlus. National Institutes of Health.
July 6, 2011. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
China’s drug agency rejects state media claims of cover-up
in lead found in health supplement. Washington Post. April 10,
2012. Retrieved April 23, 2012.
References from the medical literature:
Pesticides in seaweed: optimization of pressurized liquid
extraction and in-cell clean-up and analysis by liquid
Lorenzo RA, Pais S, Racamonde I, García-Rodríguez D, Carro AM.
Anal Bioanal Chem. 2012 Jul;404(1):173-81. doi: 10.1007/s00216-
012-6106-4. Epub 2012 May 26.
Toxicity of so-called edible hijiki seaweed (Sargassum
fusiforme) containing inorganic arsenic.
Yokoi K, Konomi A.
Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2012 Jul;63(2):291-7. doi: 10.1016/j.
yrtph.2012.04.006. Epub 2012 Apr 27.
Radioiodine: the classic theranostic agent.
Semin Nucl Med. 2012 May;42(3):164-70. doi: 10.1053/j.
Humans seem to produce arsenobetaine and
dimethylarsinate after a bolus dose of seafood.
Molin M, Ulven SM, Dahl L, Telle-Hansen VH, Holck M, Skjegstad
G, Ledsaak O, Sloth JJ, Goessler W, Oshaug A, Alexander J,
Fliegel D, Ydersbond TA, Meltzer HM.
Environ Res. 2012 Jan;112:28-39. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.
2011.11.007. Epub 2011 Dec 2.
A LC-MS/MS methodology to determine furaltadone
residues in the macroalgae Ulva lactuca.
Leston S, Nunes M, Freitas A, Barbosa J, Ramos F, Pardal MÂ.
J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2011 Dec 15;879
(32):3832-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jchromb.2011.10.030. Epub 2011 Oct
Inter-population comparisons of copper resistance and
accumulation in the red seaweed, Gracilariopsis longissima.
Brown MT, Newman JE, Han T.
Ecotoxicology. 2012 Mar;21(2):591-600. doi: 10.1007/s10646-011-
0819-6. Epub 2011 Nov 18.
Determination of water-soluble arsenic compounds in
commercial edible seaweed by LC-ICPMS.
Llorente-Mirandes T, Ruiz-Chancho MJ, Barbero M, Rubio R,
J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Dec 28;59(24):12963-8. doi: 10.1021
/jf2040466. Epub 2011 Nov 30.
Two-dimensional HPLC coupled to ICP-MS and electrospray
ionisation (ESI)-MS/MS for investigating the bioavailability in
vitro of arsenic species from edible seaweed.
Garcia-Sartal C, Taebunpakul S, Stokes E, Barciela-Alonso Mdel
C, Bermejo-Barrera P, Goenaga-Infante H.
Anal Bioanal Chem. 2012 Apr;402(10):3359-69. doi: 10.1007
/s00216-011-5483-4. Epub 2011 Oct 20.
Contamination -- Seaweed is No Longer a Healthy Food
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