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Water: News

Newsletter - January 2007

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

  • Oak Ridge PCBs not at unsafe levels. Oak Ridge, TN - Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the Oak Ridge area do not pose a public health threat, according to a new study released by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease. The report examined fish and game in several area water bodies, including the Clinch River, East Fork Poplar Creek, Poplar Creek, and Watts Bar Lake. The report says that it is safe to consume an unlimited amount of sunfish and turtle meat, however, turtle fat, eggs, and organs should not be eaten. Adults should eat no more than three meals a week of largemouth bass and one meal per week of catfish, striped bass, white bass, or hybrid bass. Children should eat no more than one meal per month of catfish, striped, white, or hybrid bass. These were the recommended consumption guidelines suggested in the new report. Fish consumption advisories are already in place for most of the water bodies studied in this report.
    • Source: Knoxville News Sentinel - December 7, 2006
  • Dioxin ban lifted on some Sydney fish. AUSTRALIA - While commercial fishing remains banned in the Sydney Harbor, there is good news for recreational fishermen. Recent tests of dioxin levels in fish in the Harbor show that consumption of six species can safely be increased. The previous recommendation was to eat no more than 150 grams per month of fish and no more than 300 grams of prawns per month. The new advice applies to fish caught east of the Sydney Harbor Bridge. Up to 1.8 kilograms per month of kingfish, luderick, flounder, and trumpeter whiting can be consumed. Also, 1.2 kg of sand whiting and up to 750 grams of silver trevally and crab is safe to eat. If recreational fishermen have any confusion about the new recommendations, they are to follow the old advice to eat no more than 150 grams per month of fish from the Sydney Harbor.
    • Source: The Sydney Morning Herald - December 9, 2006
  • Groups urge fish consumption advisory. Reno, NV - A coalition of environmentalists, sportsmen, American Indians, and health care advocates are calling for a fish consumption advisory due to unsafe mercury levels in the Wild Horse Reservoir. Citing a recent study by University of Nevada, Reno scientists, in which the researchers sampled fish tissue data from the reservoir, the group says the mercury levels in the fish tissue could be detrimental to children and pregnant women. The group is asking the state to investigate mercury contamination in several water bodies across Nevada.
    • Source: Associated Press - December 15, 2006
  • PCB cleanup going in right direction. ALABAMA - The no consumption advisory for Logan Martin Lake has been lifted, but remains in place for all fish in the Choccolocco Creek. Progress is marked in the catfish in Logan Martin Lake. Fish tissues samples collected in 1996 had PCB concentrations of 3.06 parts per million (ppm) and in 2004, the average concentration had decreased to 0.14 ppm. PCB cleanup continues for Choccolocco Creek in an effort to lift the fish consumption advisory.
    • Source: The Daily Home - December 17, 2006
  • Local waters not fit for fish, swimming. KENTUCKY - The Kentucky Division of Water released a new report identifying water bodies that are not fit for swimming and sustaining aquatic life. Fish consumption should be restricted along the 55-mile stretch of the Ohio River from Evansville to Uniontown due to PCB contamination. No specific consumption advice was given in the article.
    • Source: The Gleaner - December 28, 2006

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Current Events, News and Journal Articles

  • Too much fish risky for fetuses. HONG KONG - Taiwanese researchers found elevated blood mercury levels in a study of 65 pregnant women who ate fish more than three times a week. The levels detected were high enough to be detrimental to a developing fetus. Overall, 89 percent of the women had blood mercury levels that exceeded the US National Research Council's recommended value of 5.8 micrograms per liter.
    • Source: Reuters - December 28, 2006
  • Mercury concentrations in fish from Lake Meredith, Texas: Implications for the issuance of fish consumption advisories. This study evaluated the relationship between fish length and muscle tissue mercury concentration in seven fish species collected from Lake Meredith, Texas. In addition, concentrations were compared to Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) guidelines for fish consumption advisory listing. Results indicated that with the exception of gizzard shad, mercury concentration positively correlated with fish length. The authors recommended assessment of all game fish when mercury contamination is identified in a lake. In addition, the authors suggested inclusion of fish size for mercury advisory assessment.
    • Source: McClain, W.C., Chumchal, M.M., Drenner, R.W., Newland, L.W. (2006). Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, Volume 123(1-3): 249-258.
  • Fish meal in animal feed and human exposure to persistent bioaccumulative and toxic substances. This paper discusses human exposure to persistent bioaccumulative and toxic substances via pathway other than direct ingestion of contaminated fish. The author evaluated toxic substances passed from contaminated fish to animal products via ingestion of contaminated fish meal. The author suggested additional assessment of risk of contaminated fish to human health via pathways currently not covered under the fish consumption advisories.
    • Source: Dorea, J.G. (2006). Journal of Food Protection, Volume 69(11): 2777-2785.
  • Determination of metals in seafood and fish in Southwest Louisiana. This paper summarizes the concentrations of various metals and organics in seafood collected from the study area, southwest Louisiana. In addition, these concentrations were compared to those collected from nearby areas and various locations around the world. Results indicated that metal concentration in seafood were generally higher than expected.
    • Source: Sneddon, J., Rode, P.W., Hamilton, M.A., Pingeli, S., Hagen, J.P. (2006). Applied Spectroscopy Reviews, Volume 42(1): 23-42.
  • A detailed study of thermal decomposition, amalgamation/atomic absorption spectrophotometry methodology for the quantitative analysis of mercury in fish and hair. This study evaluated the thermal decomposition, amalgamation/atomic absorption spectrophotometry method for the determination of mercury concentration in fish. Specifically, instrumental response modeling, quartz and nickel boat usage, carryover effects, software limitations, and troubleshooting were addressed. Results from this method were found to be comparable with those generated by cold-vapor atomic absorption spectrophotometry.
    • Source: Butala, S., Scanlan, L.P., Chaudhuri, S.N. (2006). Journal of Food Protection, Volume 69(11): 2720-2728.
  • Associations of organochlorines with endogenous hormones in male Great Lakes fish consumers and nonconsumers. The authors evaluated the effects of total noncoplanar polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and total toxic equivalents (TEQs) from organochlorines and dichlorodiphenyl dichloroethene (DDE) on steroid and thyroid hormone levels in males who consume fish caught in the Great Lakes. In addition, the study evaluated the effects of consumption frequency on the relationship with PCB concentrations and TEQ levels. The authors suggested additional studies to further delineate potential exposure effects associated with other common contaminants.
    • Source: Turyk, M.E., Anderson, H.A., Freels, S., Chatterton, R., Needham, L.L., Patterson, D.G., Steenport, D.N., Knobeloch, L., Imm, P., Persky, V.W. (2006). Environmental Chemistry, Volume 102(3): 229-307.
  • Seasonal fluctuations of tissue mercury contents in the European shore crab Carcinus maenas from low and high contamination areas (Ria de Aveiro, Portugal). This study evaluated the effects of seasonality on European shore crab tissues' (muscle, hepatopancreas and gills) mercury concentrations. Results indicated that while both small and larger size crabs shared a similar rate for uptake, elimination rates were found to be higher for larger crabs during winter. The authors suggested that this increase could result from the decrease of salinity, temperature, and reduced food availability during the winter.
    • Source: Pereira, E., Abreu, S.N., Coelho, J.P., Lopes, C.B., Pardal, M.A., Vale, C., Duarte, A.C. (2006). Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 52(11): 1450-1457.

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Meetings and Conferences

  • 2007 UCSF-CHE Summit on Environmental Challenges to Reproductive Health and Fertility. January 28-30, 2006, Atlanta, GA. For more information, visit NCEH http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/conference/index.htm.
  • Integrating Environment and Human Health 7th National Conference on Science, Policy and the Environment. February 1-2, 2007, Washington, DC. For more information, visit http://www.ncseonline.org/2007conference/ Exit EPA Disclaimer .
  • Michigan Environmental Health Association's (MEHA) 63rd Annual Educational Conference. March 27-30, 2007, Kalamazoo, MI. For more information, visit MEHA http://www.meha.net/banner.htm Exit EPA Disclaimer .
  • National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) 71st Annual Educational Conference & Exhibition. June 18-21, 2007, Atlantic City, NJ. For more information, visit NEHA http://www.neha.org Exit EPA Disclaimer .
  • American Water Resources Association (AWRA) 2007 Summer Specialty Conference, Emerging Contaminants of Concern in the Environment: Issues, Investigations. June 25-27, 2007, Vail, CO. For more information, visit AWRA http://awra.org/meetings/Vail2007/index.html Exit EPA Disclaimer .
  • American Fisheries Society (AFS) 136th Annual Meeting. September 2-6, 2007, San Francisco, CA. For more information, visit AFS http://www.fisheries.org/sf/ Exit EPA Disclaimer .
  • 121st AOAC Annual Meeting and Exposition. September 16-20, 2007, Anaheim, CA. For more information, visit AOAC http://www.aoac.org/meetings1/121st_annual_mtg/main.htm  Exit EPA Disclaimer .
  • American Public Health Association (APHA) 135th Annual Meeting and Exposition. November 3-7, 2007, Washington, DC. For more information, visit APHA http://www.apha.org/meetings/ Exit EPA Disclaimer .
  • Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) North American 28th Annual Meeting. November 11-15, 2007, Milwaukee, WI. For more information, visit SETAC http://milwaukee.setac.org/home.asp Exit EPA Disclaimer .
  • Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) 2007 Annual Meeting. December 9-12, 2007, San Antonio, TX. For more information, visit SRA http://www.sra.org/events_2007_meeting.php Exit EPA Disclaimer .

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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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