Warnings issued by the FDA note that certain fish (marlin, tuna, swordfish) may contain toxins such as methylmercury, leading some consumers to be wary of eating fish to obtain omega-3 fatty acids. Manufacturers of Krill Oil suggest it may be safer due to lower levels of contaminants such as mercury. The FDA has issued recommendations that women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, and young children avoid eating more than 6 ounces of fish per week. However, Krill may also contain methylmercury and other pollutants from sea water, although they are lower on the food chain and may contain lower values of such pollutants. One study noted that Krill harvested from Antarctica contains high levels of organic pesticides. 3
Many researchers recommend studies that test pregnant women as well as their children. The National Children’s Study will do just that by examining environmental influences on more than 100,000 children across the United States, following them from before birth until age 21.
“There are so many questions now with these chemicals in relation to cardiovascular disease, age and puberty, obesity, developmental disorders,” said Swan. “We don’t know what’s causing it, only hints, so the beauty of the National Children’s Study is that we can look at all of these endpoints and it should reveal a lot of answers.”
Some regular mattresses may have been treated with potentially toxic flame retardants called polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), which have been linked to learning, memory, and behavioral impairments, according to Lunder.
Though PBDEs were phased out of mattresses in 2005, they can still be found in other household items, including carpet padding and some electronics. The EWG advises opting for products that haven’t been treated with brominated fire retardants and choosing less-flammable materials, such as wool.