The Food and Drug Administration says chemical dispersants used to break up oil in the Gulf of Mexico have a low potential for accumulating in seafood, and do not pose a public health concern.

The agency issued that analysis in a letter to Rep. Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat who chairs the House energy and environment subcommittee. Markey released the letter Thursday.

The FDA says the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is conducting further studies on exposure of seafood to dispersants.

Markey calls the FDA's analysis a "great first step" in restoring public confidence in Gulf seafood. But he cautions that questions still remain about the long-term effect of the chemicals on the marine food chain.