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Water: News

Newsletter - August 2006

Note: The following summaries are based on articles from the press and from peer-reviewed publications, and they represent the opinions of the original authors. The views of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government, and shall not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes. Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government.

Recent Advisory News

  • Alert issued on fish caught from river. Boston, MA -- A public health alert has been issued for parts of the Ipswich River due to elevated levels of mercury. The recommendation is for children under the age of 12 and pregnant or nursing women to not eat any fish from the river between the Bostik Findley and the Sylvania Dams.
    • Source: The Boston Globe - July 1, 2006
  • Arizona weekly fishing report. ARIZONA -- In southwestern Arizona, there is a fish advisory in effect for Alamo Lake. For children under 6 years of age, there should be no bass or crappie consumption. Older children and women of childbearing age can have one 8-ounce serving per month of bass, crappie, and catfish. Adult women beyond childbearing age can have three 8-ounce servings a month of bass and crappie and five servings of catfish. For adult men the recommendation is four 8-ounce servings per month of bass and crappie and six servings of catfish.

    The other fish consumption advisory is for Lyman Lake in the northeastern/White Mountains area of the state. Anglers fishing this lake are asked to consult the Arizona Game and Fish Regional office in Pinetop for more information.
    • Source: North Texas e-News - July 4, 2006
  • Emigrant Lake's $800 question to be answered. Ashland, OR -- The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission has authorized the use of $800 from the state Restoration and Enhancement Program to fund mercury testing of crappie in Emigrant Lake. The lake has long been heralded as a prime location for these fish, but now there is concern about mercury levels. The testing should be completed by the end of the summer. If the mercury levels exceed the 0.35 parts per million (ppm) threshold, a state health advisory would have to be placed on crappie in Emigrant Lake.
    • Source: Mail Tribune - July 13, 2006
  • Are locally caught freshwater fish safe to eat? Naples, FL -- That is the question on several anglers' minds as they fish the lakes and canals of Collier County. Several say they would never eat anything from the canals, while others regularly do. The waterbodies are regularly tested for contaminants by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC). Fish consumption advisories are issued jointly by the FWC and the Florida Department of Health (DOH). The only advisories currently in effect for Collier County are mercury advisories for five locations: Barron River and Canal, Big Cypress Preserve, Faka Union Canal, Lake Trafford and Turner River Canal. For specific information on the fish consumption advisories in Florida, go to: http://www.doh.state.fl.us/floridafishadvice.
    • Source: Naples Sun Times - July 19, 2006
  • Fish advisory just a caution. Vallecito, CO -- A fish advisory issued in June has caused some concern among residents about mercury consumption. The advisory for the Vallecito Reservoir was issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and suggests eating limited quantities of walleye and northern pike. The CDPHE hosted a meeting for local residents to discuss the advisory and address concerns about mercury. They recommended people keep the advisory in perspective and to keep eating fish from the reservoir, just to limit predator fish consumption.
    • Source: The Durango Herald - July 19, 2006
  • Limit eating lake's fish, state urges. VIRGINIA -- A new fish consumption advisory was issued by the Virginia Department of Health due to elevated mercury levels. The area affected is the Chickahominy River from upstream of Walkers Dam to the Route 155 bridge. That area is in New Kent and Charles City counties. The advisory recommends a maximum of two 8-ounce meals per month of largemouth bass, chain pickerel or bowfin.
    • Source: Daily Press - July 20, 2006
  • State issues bass warning for Pierce Pond. Mason City, IA -- Two recent tests of largemouth bass from Pierce Pond showed elevated mercury levels. This prompted the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to issue a fish consumption advisory. It recommends eating only one meal per week of largemouth bass from Pierce Pond, also known as Black Pit. The advisory can be lifted after two consecutive fish samples from the pond show mercury levels below 0.2 ppm. For more information about fish consumption advisories throughout the state of Iowa, please go to: http://www.iowadnr.gov/fish/news/consump.html.
    • Source: Globe Gazette - July 20, 2006
  • State puts fish advisory online. Indianapolis, IN -- This year's fish consumption advice is now available on the Internet. The advisory explains the potential risks of eating certain fish in different waterbodies throughout the state. Most of the advisories are related to mercury and PCB contamination. The groups highest at risk are pregnant or nursing women, fetuses, infants, and children. Hard copies of the advisory can be obtained by calling the state Health Department at (317) 351-7190, extension 262. To read the advisory online, please visit the state Health Department website at: http://www.in.gov/isdh/dataandstats/fish/2006/index.htm.
    • Source: South Bend Tribune - July 20, 2006

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Current Events, News and Journal Articles

  • Oil spill in La. leaves ships stranded. Lake Charles, LA -- As a result of a 47,000 barrel oil spill in the Calcasieu Ship Channel, the state health department is advising people not to consume dead fish, fish with oily residues or a petroleum odor and fish harvested in the waters directly affected by the spill. The Coast Guard thought that this Citgo Petroleum Corp. spill was the largest in the channel in about 20 years. Commercial seafood businesses have been shut down for several days and several of the prime spots are inaccessible due to the channel closure.
    • Source: www.mercurynews.com - June 28, 2006
  • UN Commission set to adopt safer food standards against disease-causing compounds. SWITZERLAND -- Over 100 countries will be represented at the July 3-7 meetings in Geneva to discuss limitations on lead and cancer-causing toxins that contaminate food. Some of the issues the 500 delegates will discuss include: establishing a maximum limit of lead in fish, a maximum limit of cadmium in rice, marine bivalve mollusks, and cephalopods, measures to prevent aflatoxin contamination of Brazil nuts and dioxin and PCB contamination in food and livestock feeds. If these proposals are adopted, changes in international food trade are likely to follow.
    • Source: UN News Centre - June 29, 2006
  • Codex sets new standards for lead, cadmium. SWITZERLAND -- The Codex Alimentarius Commission has established voluntary standards for minimum levels of lead in fish, cadmium in rice, marine bivalve mollusks and cephalopods, and aflatoxin in Brazil nuts. The Commission is a joint venture within the UN's World Health Organization (WHO) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Although the standards are voluntary, many countries will incorporate them into their own legislation and there could be impact on international food trade as well.
    • Source: Food Production Daily - USA - July 10, 2006
  • Americans confused about mercury in seafood, survey finds. UNITED STATES -- Results from a survey conducted by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) show that very few Americans understand or are aware of the mercury advisory jointly issued in 2004 by the EPA and the FDA. The advisory on mercury in fish urges women who are or could become pregnant, those nursing, and small children to avoid eating shark, swordfish, king mackerel or tilefish. But, in the CSPI survey of women in that category, 31 percent did not know that seafood with high mercury levels could be harmful. Other results indicated that equal percentages of people thought salmon was both high and low in mercury. The truth is that salmon, along with shrimp, catfish, and pollock, tend to contain low levels of mercury. The random digit-dial, nationally projectable survey was of 1,018 adults and was conducted by the Opinion Research Corporation.
    • Source: Consumer Affairs - July 10, 2006
  • Imported tuna may have higher mercury levels. Washington, DC -- The environmental group, Defenders of Wildlife, tested 164 cans of tuna from the following countries: Ecuador, Mexico, Costa Rica, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, and the United States. Testing was performed by New Age/Landmark Laboratory and these were the major findings:
    . The average mercury content in the U.S. tuna was lower than imported tuna.
    . The lowest average mercury levels were in the tuna from Asia.
    . The highest average levels were in tuna from Latin America. Some of these levels exceeded the government limit of 1.0 parts per million (ppm).

    Based on these findings, the group is recommending people limit their consumption of light tuna to one meal a week, and to avoid tuna that is marked as imported from Latin America.
    • Source: CBS News - July 11, 2006
  • Good morning lowcountry. Charleston, SC -- A summary of fish consumption advice was published by the Environmental Defense Fund. Fish that should not be consumed due to high mercury or PCB levels are: bluefin tuna, Chilean seabass, grouper, marlin, orange roughy, rockfish, shark, swordfish, and tilefish. Other seafood to avoid are Atlantic farmed salmon, Atlantic cod, Atlantic halibut, monkfish, skate, and snapper. The list of best seafood and fish to eat includes anchovies, Atlantic herring, Atlantic mackerel, black cod, catfish, caviar, clams, crawfish, mussels, oysters, sardines, scallops, shrimp, stone crabs, striped bass, sturgeon, tilapia, and wild, canned pink or sockeye salmon. The whole list is published at: http://www.oceansalive.org Exit EPA Disclaimer .
    • Source: The Post and Courier - July 12, 2006
  • Get enough, but not too much, fish in your family's diet. UNITED STATES -- This is an overall summary of health experts' recommendations for consuming fish and seafood. Women who are or could become pregnant and those breastfeeding should eat 8-12 ounces of fish per week. Young children, ages 2-6, should eat at least 2 ounces per week. Recreationally-caught fish should be consumed according to each state's fish consumption advisories. A complete list can be viewed at: http://fn.cfs.purdue.edu/fish4health/ Exit EPA Disclaimer .
    • Source: Tristate-media.com - July 13, 2006
  • What's next for fishing families. AUSTRALIA -- Australian fishermen that have spent lifetimes fishing the Sydney Harbor recently received the results from tests conducted by the government. The tests for dioxin were performed on the fishermen and members of their families. The dioxin levels were up to twelve times the national average. Many families are angered because the results were elevated even in small children. Fishermen have been feeding contaminated fish to their families for years and only recently did the government announce warnings to limit consumption. The average Australian adult has a dioxin level of 10 picograms and the highest detected level in these tests was 119. It is hard to determine at this point if there is any direct correlation between the elevated dioxin levels in the fishermen and cancer risk. One toxicologist with the National Toxics Network concluded, "What you can say with some certainty is that high exposure will increase the likelihood of symptoms."
    • Source: The Daily Telegraph - July 21, 2006
  • Effects of four cooking methods on the heavy metal concentrations of sea bass fillets (Dicentrarchus labrax Linne, 1785). The effects of different cooking treatments (baking, grilling, microwaving, and frying) of sea bass on fish tissue metal (Pb, Cd, Cr, Co, As, and Ni) concentrations were evaluated. Results indicated that microwaving and frying may increase some metal concentrations in sea bass, therefore this study concluded that these cooking treatments may not be suitable for sea bass. Specifically, arsenic concentrations in fried and microwaved samples increased in comparison to concentrations in raw fish samples.
    • Source: Erosoy, B., Yanar, Y., Kucukgulmez, A., Celik, M. (2006). Food Chemistry, Volume 99(4), 748-751.
  • Mercury in the Izmir Bay: an assessment of contamination. This study evaluated the mercury concentrations in various environmental compartments in Izmir Bay (Eastern Aegean). The main sources of mercury identified were Gediz River and inactive mining sites. Fish tissue concentrations for Merlangius merlangus and Pagellus erythrinus were found to exceed the WHO maximum permissible limit for mercury.
    • Source: Kotnas, A. (2006, June). Journal of Marine Systems, Volume 61(1-2), 67-78.
  • Groundwater contribution of metals from an abandoned mine to the North Fork of the American Fork River, Utah. This study evaluated the impact of groundwater on metal loading rates to the river. Results indicated that metal (As, Cd, and Pb) concentrations in the North Fork of the American Fork River were elevated and consumption of fish from this waterbody may be hazardous to human health.
    • Source: Lachmar, E., Burk, I., Kolesar, T. (2006, June). Water, Air, & Soil Pollution, Volume 173(1-4), 103-120.
  • Mercury concentrations in largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) from five South Carolina reservoirs. This study analyzed and compared mercury concentrations in largemouth bass (Micropterus salmonides) from five reservoirs (Lake Ressel, Lake Thurmond, Lake Marion, L-Lake, and Par Pond) in South Carolina. Results indicated that mercury concentrations in most fish either fell into or exceeded the USEPA consumption category of "no more than one per week".
    • Source: Peles, D., Glenn, C., Brant, A., Wall, K., Jagoe, H. (2006, June). Water, Air, & Soil Pollution, Volume 173(1-4), 151-162.
  • Risks to child health from methylmercury exposure in immigrant populations. This article summarizes findings from a recent study conducted by Innis et al. The study evaluated methylmercury exposure to various immigrant and ethnic groups in Vancouver, British Columbia. The study results indicated that Chinese immigrants had an elevated risk above the USEPA's reference dose for adverse neurodevelopmental effects. This is due in part to consumption of imported fish species.
    • Source: Jacobson, L., Jacobson, W. (2006, June). Journal of Pediatrics, Volume 148(6), 716-718.

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Meetings and Conferences

  • Eighth International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant (ICMGP). August 6-11, 2006, Madison, WI. For more information, visit ICGMP http://www.mercury2006.org.
  • American Fisheries Society (AFS) 136th Annual Meeting. September 10-14, 2006, Lake Placid, NY. For more information, visit AFS http://www.afslakeplacid.org/. Exit EPA Disclaimer
  • New Mexico Environmental Health (NMEHC) Conference. October 29-November 1, 2006, Albuquerque, NM. For more information, visit NMEHC http://www.nhemc.net/. Exit EPA Disclaimer
  • Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) Annual Conference. November 5-8, 2006, Norfolk, VA. For more information, visit SEAFWA http://www.seafwa.org/schedule.htm. Exit EPA Disclaimer
  • American Public Health Association (APHA) 134th Annual Meeting. November 4-8, 2006, Boston, MA. For more information, visit APHA http://www.apha.org/meetings/. Exit EPA Disclaimer
  • Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) North America 27th Annual Meeting. November 5-9, 2006, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. For more information, visit SETAC http://www.setac.org/montreal/. Exit EPA Disclaimer
  • Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) 2006 Annual Meeting. December 3-6, 2006, Baltimore, MD. For more information, visit SRA http://www.sra.org/events_2006_meeting.php. Exit EPA Disclaimer
  • 2006 National Environmental Public Health (NCEH) Conference. December 4-6, 2006, Atlanta, GA. For more information, visit NCEH http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/conference/index.htm.

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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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