I too feel the concern of where.
I am going to get from Maine Coast Sea Vegetables
here is their words on pollution, in case you are interested:
What about Pollution?
Each year more people become concerned about the purity of our oceans and each year we receive more inquiries about the purity of our seaweed products. Fortunately, the northeastern end of the Gulf of Maine is still unindustrialized and relatively unpolluted. Nevertheless we continue to monitor possible chemical, heavy metal and bacteriological contaminants in our seaweeds, and we encourage other sea vegetable suppliers, particularly Asian ones, to do the same.
Chemicals: Each year we have all our seaweeds tested by the Maine Health and Environmental Testing Laboratories for 42 different chemical pollutants. These include PCB's, hydrocarbons (petroleum products), 34 different insecticides, and 9 different herbicides. No unusual traces of any compound covered by these test procedures have been detected in our seaweeds.
Heavy Metals: Each harvest season the University of Maine's Dept. of Food Science
tests our seaweeds for the following heavy metals: lead, arsenic, mercury and cadmium. We would like to report "no traces," but that is an unrealistic expectation as these metals occur worldwide both naturally (leached from bedrock) and as industrial waste. Although the test levels vary somewhat from year to year, the average is very low measured against the United Nations FAO/WHO codex of Tolerable Daily Intake Limits. Nor are there any upward trends in the test results over many years.
When assessing the presence of heavy metals in seaweed bear in mind two factors. First, these FAO/WHO Limits assume daily consumption and few people actually eat large amounts of seaweed daily. And second, it's not known to what extent these metals are bioavailable, if at all, during digestion. It is know that any heavy metals present in seaweed are strongly bonded with indigestible polysaccharides that pass through the body intact. Some studies indicate that seaweed may even help eliminate heavy metals already stored in the body!
Bacteria: We have regular microbiological testing at the University of Maine to make sure there are no harmful microorganisms occurring in the seaweed or occurring during the drying, storing or packaging process. All tests to date for coloform, E. coli, yeast and molds have shown no unusual microbial activity. We would be happy to supply you with copies of all past and present testing if you desire.
I also am ordering from Ryan Drum who live on Waldron Island, WA
here is is his piece on Arsenic (I don't offer this to be argumentative, I am personally curious......)
SEAWEED ARSENIC SCARE
In April 2007, Amster et al published a diatribe against herbal supplements and kelp tablets in particular (8), Case Report: Potential Arsenic Toxicosis Secondary to Herbal Kelp Supplement. I think calling kelp tablets an “herbal supplement” in the paper’s title seems deliberately hostile and knowingly erroneous. Few of us would label kelp tablets an herbal supplement; kelp is not an herb. Unfortunately, the authors in their haste to publication and sloppy peer-review spelled Laminaria incorrectly (their spelling: Liminaria).
The article was remarkably similar to the guilt-by-association attacks on comfrey nearly 20 years ago. In this case, it is the assumption that kelp-sourced arsenic produced the patient’s overt symptoms. That the article was generated by the Veterinary School at UC Davis is telling.
The article reports on one patient who allegedly took 3x the recommended daily dosage of kelp tablets for a year and presented subsequently with elevated arsenic levels and alleged symptoms of chronic arsenic poisoning. After stopping the kelp tablets, her symptoms and arsenic levels improved to near normal levels.
The authors claim that this case demonstrates the toxic heavy metal contamination problems of unregulated herbs and other health supplements.
Their database is inadequate to make any certain conclusion.
Seaweeds are not “contaminated” with arsenic. All seaweeds contain arsenic; they deliberately accumulate arsenic up to 10,000 times the concentrations of arsenic in the seawater in which they are growing. Seaweeds contain an average of 30 parts per million arsenic, dry weight (9).
Japanese scientists are quick to point out that “if seaweed-sourced arsenic were a real problem, most Japanese would present with either chronic or acute arsenic poisoning very early in life” and would display foreshortened life spans (4,10). Instead, Japanese enjoy the longest human health spans, longest human life spans, and eat the most seaweeds per capita.
Arsenic comes in all seafood.
Arsenic is deliberately added to the diets of most commercially grown so-called “broiler chickens”. The arsenic acts as a growth accelerant and remains in the tissues. It is cheap and effective. Chickens normally require 5-8 months to reach maturity and adult size. Factory meat chickens reach market size in 6-7 weeks. They are bloated sham chickens.
Arsenic pesticides are still used abundantly. Millions of outdoor decks and wooden playground structures are impregnated with Paris Green, Copper Arsenate to retard decay. Paris Green is a better wood preservative alternative than Penta-Chloro-Phenol, a known vicious endocrine disruptor. Arsenic is readily absorbed through the human epidermis upon contact.
Rice grown in Arkansas and Louisiana has 30 ppm arsenic; California rice has 15ppm.
To ban arsenic is to ban food.