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Water: News

Newsletter—January 2009

Recent Advisory News

fishing

FDA Draft Report Revises Recommended Fish Consumption Levels

Washington, D.C.—The FDA has issued a draft report revising its previous recommended consumption limits on fish for target groups such as women of childbearing age and children. The report emphasizes that the benefits of fish consumption may exceed the risks associated with mercury in fish and that the benefits are most pronounced atconsumption levels above twelve ounces per week. EPA and other federal agencies are currently reviewing the methodology used in the FDA report.  




Source: Washington Post  Exit EPA Disclaimer (DC), 12/12/2008, Chicago Tribune  Exit EPA Disclaimer (IL), 12/14/2008, Los Angeles Times  Exit EPA Disclaimer (CA), 12/22/2008

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Fish eating advisories are issued

Topeka, KS—The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) will issue revised fish consumption advisories for 2009. The state recommends that no fish be consumed at four locations across the state due to contaminants which include PCBs, chlordane, lead and cadmium.

Source: The Capital-Journal (KS); 12/7/2008

New Model Predicts Hot Spots for Mercury in Fish

Raleigh, NC—Scientists at North Carolina State University have developed a model that predicts waterbodies which may have fish containing high mercury concentrations. The statistical model relies on variables which are positively associated with increased mercury levels, such as size and species or fish, pH and other factors to determine the mercury sensitivity. The model may represent a valuable decision-making tool for monitoring and assessment of mercury in fish tissue.

Source: ScienceDaily (MD); 12/2/2008

Delaware basin 'showing improvement, but still needs work'

Newark, DE—A recent report on the state of Delaware River Basin indicates that although water quality improvements have been made in recent years, fish consumption advisories are still in effect for over 4,000 miles of streams in the Delaware River Basin. Additionally, 80% of the streams in the basin had detectable amounts of pesticides such as atrazine and metachlor.

Source: UDaily (DE); 12/15/2008

Study says newest mercury most harmful to fish in Onondaga Lake

Syracuse, NY—A new study indicates that new sources of mercury may be more bioavailable than mercury which has previously entered a waterbody and settled. The availability of the mercury to accumulate in fish and other aquatic life decreases after the first year until it reaches equilibrium with previously deposited mercury approximately seven years after entering the waterbody.

Source: The Post-Standard (NY); 12/1/ 2008

New EPA grant to reduce mercury exposure from fish

The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation has been awarded an EPA grant to fund an outreach campaign aimed at decreasing the exposure of ethnic and tribal communities to mercury. It is one of the grants totaling 380,000 dollars awarded New England programs which promote healthy communities through awareness and energy reduction efforts.

Source: The Rutland Herald (VT); 11/27/ 2008


Current Events

Methylmercury in Marine Ecosystems: Spatial Patterns and Processes of Production, Bioaccumulation, and Biomagnification

This article examines the large and local scale processes which drive methylmercury generation, bioaccumulation, and trophic transfer in marine ecosystems. The authors suggest that the spatial variations in methylmercury generation and bioaccumulation indicate that both proximity of sources to biotic receptors and biogeochemical processes are critical in bioaccumulation of methylmercury.

Chen C, Amirbahman A, Fisher N, Harding G, Lamborg C, Nacci D, Taylor D. Methylmercury in Marine Ecosystems: Spatial Patterns and Processes of Production, Bioaccumulation, and Biomagnification. Ecohealth. 2008 Nov 18. [Epub ahead of print]

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Negative confounding in the evaluation of toxicity: the case of methylmercury in fish and seafood

This study examines the implications of the confounding effects of methylmercury on the potential benefits of fish consumption. The authors suggest that improved guidance is needed to help consumers choose fish and seafood that are low in mercury to receive maximum health benefits.

Choi, A. L., S. Cordier, et al. (2008). "Negative confounding in the evaluation of toxicity: the case of methylmercury in fish and seafood." Crit Rev Toxicol 38(10): 877-93.

Ecological Factors Regulating Mercury Contamination of Fish from Caddo Lake, Texas, USA

The authors present the factors associated with mercury accumulation in the food web of a freshwater lake in the southern U.S. Age, total length and trophic level were most correlated with mercury concentrations in fish tissue. Additionally, higher levels of mercury in fish from wetland habitat indicated a potential association of presence of wetland habitat and increased bioavailability of mercury.

Chumchal MM, Hambright KD. Ecological Factors Regulating Mercury Contamination of Fish from Caddo Lake, Texas, USA. Environ Toxicol Chem. 2008 Dec 2:1. [Epub ahead of print]

Frequency and type of seafood consumed influence plasma (n-3) fatty acid concentrations

This study investigates the relationship between dietary intake of different seafood meals and levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in consumers of varying ethnicity. Non-fried fish was the only cooking method and seafood group observed to significantly and positively affect EPA and DHA levels in all ethnicities represented in the study. Additionally, the authors suggest that the effects associated with consumption of non-fried fish on EPA and DHA levels plateau at an approximate intake of two meals per week.

Chung, H., J. A. Nettleton, et al. (2008). "Frequency and type of seafood consumed influence plasma (n-3) fatty acid concentrations." J Nutr 138(12): 2422-7.

Human health risk assessment from the presence of human pharmaceuticals in the aquatic environment

This study assesses the potential human health impact from environmental exposure to 44 active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), by consumption of fish or drinking water. Using standard U.S. and European risk assessment models, the authors of the study conclude that no appreciable risk to human health exists from environmental exposure to the assessed APIs.

Cunningham VL, Binks SP, Olson MJ. Human health risk assessment from the presence of human pharmaceuticals in the aquatic environment. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2008 Oct 29. [Epub ahead of print]

Wetland influences on mercury transport and bioaccumulation in South Carolina

The authors of this study analyzed biogeochemical parameters from different regions of South Carolina to identify the factors which influence the physical transport and biological transfer of mercury. Of the fish tissue samples collected in the study, those from watersheds with increased percent wetland area had higher concentrations of mercury than samples from watershed with relatively smaller wetland area.

Guentzel, J. L. (2009). "Wetland influences on mercury transport and bioaccumulation in South Carolina." Sci Total Environ 407(4): 1344-53.

Fish ingestion and congener specific polychlorinated biphenyl and p,p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene serum concentrations in a Great Lakes cohort of pregnant African American women

The Great Lakes Cohort of Pregnant African American Women (GLCPAAW), consisting of pregnant African American women from low income urban areas in the Great Lakes region was surveyed to identify the associations between diet and organochlorine concentration in serum. The results of the study suggest that fish consumption may not be the primary exposure route of GLCPAAW to organochlorines and that other sources, such as ambient air in urban settings, may be a greater source of exposure for this cohort.

McGraw JE, Waller DP. Fish ingestion and congener specific polychlorinated biphenyl and p,p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene serum concentrations in a great lakes cohort of pregnant African American women. Environ Int. 2008 Nov 27. [Epub ahead of print]

Survey design for lakes and reservoirs in the United States to assess contaminants in fish tissue

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) conducted the National Lake Fish Tissue Study (NLFTS) to survey fish from freshwater lakes and reservoirs in the U.S for 268 types of persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) chemicals. The survey sampled fish from 500 lakes and reservoirs using an unequal probability survey design to ensure that samples that were collected were representative of the U.S. by geography and distribution. The authors estimated that over 78,000 lakes and reservoirs met the selection criteria used in the NLFTS.

Olsen AR, Snyder BD, Stahl LL, Pitt JL. Survey design for lakes and reservoirs in the United States to assess contaminants in fish tissue. Environ Monit Assess. 2008 Dec 4. [Epub ahead of print]

Contaminants in fish tissue from US lakes and reservoirs: a national probabilistic study

Predator and bottom-dweller species from freshwater lakes and reservoirs in the U.S. were collected and analyzed for 268 types of persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) chemicals as part of the National Lake Fish Tissue Study (NLFTS). All of the fish samples collected in the study contained mercury and PCBs of which nearly half exceeded the EPA recommended consumption limit for mercury. Additionally, dioxins and furans were detected in 81% - 99% of samples, depending on trophic level.

Stahl LL, Snyder BD, Olsen AR, Pitt JL. Contaminants in fish tissue from US lakes and reservoirs: a national probabilistic study. Environ Monit Assess. 2008 Dec 9. [Epub ahead of print]

Omega-6 and Trans fatty acids in blood cell membranes: a risk factor for acute coronary syndromes?

Composition and concentrations of fatty acids in blood was analyzed for associations with acute coronary syndromes (ACS). Results indicated that individuals with above average lineoleic acid concentrations and below average levels of trans oleic acid are less likely to present with ACS.

Block, R. C., W. S. Harris, et al. (2008). "Omega-6 and trans fatty acids in blood cell membranes: a risk factor for acute coronary syndromes?" Am Heart J 156(6): 1117-23.


Meetings and Conferences

2009 Spring Meeting. Southern Division of the American Fisheries Society (SDAFS)

January 15–18, 2009, New Orleans, Louisiana. For more information please visit:

http://www.sdafs.org/meetings/2009/default.htm Exit EPA Disclaimer

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Energy & Environment Conference: Clean Air, Mercury, Global Warming & Renewable Energy

February 1–4, 2009, Phoenix, Arizona. For more information, please visit:

http://www.euec.com/html/home.htm  Exit EPA Disclaimer

2009 AAAS Annual Meeting

February 12–16, 2009, Chicago, Illinois. For more information, please visit:

http://www.aaas.org/meetings/ Exit EPA Disclaimer

48th Annual Meeting of the Society of Toxicology (SOT)

March 15–19, 2009, Baltimore, Maryland. For more information, please visit:

http://www.toxicology.org/ai/meet/am2009/ Exit EPA Disclaimer

NEHA's 73rd Annual Educational Conference (AEC) & Exhibition

June 21–24, 2009, Atlanta, Georgia. For more information, please visit:

http://www.neha.org/AEC/2009/index.html Exit EPA Disclaimer

2009 National Forum on Contaminants in Fish

October 2009, Portland, Oregon.


For More Information

Please email the newsletter (bigler.jeff@epa.gov) if you would like to announce an upcoming meeting, conference, or to submit an article.


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