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Toxin Warning Issued for Southern Coast

Posted April. 20, 2010 05:23,   


Toxin in sea mussels and oysters off the coast of South Gyeongsang Province that could cause respiratory paralysis leading to death has exceeded the permitted level.

The National Fisheries Research and Development Institute, which conducted a toxin survey on the coasts, said yesterday that paralytic shellfish toxin in Jinhae and Geoje Island in the province and off the coast of Busan exceeded the permissible level of 80μg per 100 grams.

The paralytic toxin is created when shellfish eat toxic planktons, and if people eat the toxic shells, they risk paralysis in the lips and fingertips and death from respiratory paralysis in the worst-case scenario.

“The more-than-permitted level of toxin causing paralysis was found in certain sea mussels and oysters off the coast of South Gyeongsang Province March 29, and is spreading to the east of Geoje Island and the coast of Busan,” the institute said.

“The paralytic shellfish toxin occurs off the eastern area off the southern coast every spring, but this year’s is the worst case in a decade.”

The institute and provincial governments will ban the collection of shells on the coast found to have exceeded the permitted level, and will increase supervision twice a week by the end of May when the toxin disappears.

An institute source said, “Please refrain from eating natural shells from this area. Farmed shells are produced in a safe place, so you can eat them after checking their origin.”