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Health officials warn of arsenic levels in hand-dug clams on Oregon coast

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon health officials are warning people to take caution when eating soft shell clams after siphons, or the “neck” of the clam, have been found in tests to carry high levels of arsenic.

The Oregonian reports that officials warned Monday that siphons should be removed from clams that have been harvested by in estuaries on the Oregon coast.

Only people who dig their own clams are at risk since the species in which the naturally occurring arsenic has been detected, Mya arenaria, are not sold in markets or restaurants.

The warning from the Oregon Health Authority stems from tests the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality performed on a variety of shellfish species collected along the Oregon coast as part of its toxics monitoring program.

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