Max Daily Allowance of Seafood Consumption

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a group of over 100 different chemicals that are formed during the incomplete burning of coal, oil and gas, garbage, or other organic substances like tobacco or charbroiled meat. PAHs are also found in coal tar, crude oil, creosote, and roofing tar. PAHs are usually found as complex mixtures, and several PAHs are known or suspected human carcinogens. For more information about PAHs, go to CDC.Gov.

During the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster in 2010, there were human health concerns associated with consumption of Gulf seafood due to the presence of PAHs in crude oil. The Gulf Coast Health Alliance: health Risks related to the Macondo Spill (GC-HARMS) is a network of community and university partners focused on the health and resiliency impacts of the 2010 Macondo oil spill. GC-HARMS monitored the PAH levels in Gulf seafood for a period of fours years since the oil spill.

Based on these assessments, GC-HARMS has developed a seafood consumption calculator designed to determine the maximum amount of Gulf seafood that someone can consume safely by limiting exposure to carcinogenic PAHs. The calculator uses PAH levels detected in Gulf seafood (see the Map link), your body weight, years of seafood consumption (your estimated duration of exposure), your frequency of consumption (days per week/month), and your risk tolerance for an increased cancer incidence (ranging from a low 1 in a 1,000,000 risk to a higher 1 in 10,000 increased risk in cancer incidence). This calculator is not intended for pregnant women or individuals weighing under 50 pounds, and does not void seafood consumption advisories due to other contaminants such as mercury. Nor does it take into consideration exposure to PAHs from other sources.


Choose a risk level you are comfortable with eating seafood. The risk levels represent a range from one in a million increase in risk (low risk) to a one in ten thousand increase at the higher end

These risk ratios are consistent with those used by US regulatory agencies. (eg. FDA, EPA, NRDC)

Begin by selecting a Cancer Risk Level:


You selected a tolerance level for an increased cancer risk at 1/100,000

Maximum Daily Allowance by Species on the Days of Seafood Consumption