A new study led by Portland State University finds that oysters in Coos and Netarts bays contain a cocktail of potentially harmful chemicals. But the state says it’s seen much of the data before and a health advisory is unnecessary.
The Oregon Health Authority says the state knew about PCBs, mercury and pesticides in seafood. But what is new are all the pharmaceuticals, like pain relievers, antibiotics and antihistamines.
The new findings caused the state to issue an advisory saying how many oysters you’d have to eat to get one dose of each pharmaceutical.
OHA spokesman David Farrer said for the pain reliever Naproxen, it’s 160,000 pounds of oysters.
“We hope that that conveys it is a very low risk,” Farrer says.
The state did issue a health advisory for soft-shell clams last year. Scientists say the chemicals enter the bays via groundwater runoff and wastewater discharged into rivers.
Calls and emails to the Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association were not immediately returned.