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Domoic Acid

Domoic acid is a naturally occurring toxin that is related to a “bloom” of a particular single-celled diatom called Pseudo-nitzschia. The conditions that support the growth of Pseudo-nitzschia are impossible to predict. Crustaceans, fish and shellfish are capable of accumulating elevated levels of domoic acid without apparent ill effects on the animals. Elevated levels of domoic acid in crustaceans, fish and shellfish pose a significant risk to the public if these adulterated products are consumed. Domoic acid can be fatal to people if consumed in high doses. Symptoms of domoic acid poisoning can occur within 30 minutes to 24 hours after eating toxic seafood. In mild cases, symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache and dizziness. These symptoms disappear within several days. In severe cases, the victim may experience trouble breathing, confusion, disorientation, cardiovascular instability, seizures, excessive bronchial secretions, permanent loss of short-term memory (a condition known as Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning), coma or death.

Archived Domoic Acid Press Releases and Health Advisories
Analytical Data Summaries (Lobsters)
Last modified on: 2/10/2017 5:00 PM