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Newsletter - March/April 2004

We experienced a lull in newsletter publication for the past few months for contractual reasons, but the newsletter will now resume the normal schedule with a new issue out during the first week of each month, so stay tuned!

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

  • Joint federal advisory for mercury in fish issued March 19, 2004

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are advising women who may become pregnant, pregnant women, nursing mothers, and young children to avoid some types of fish and eat fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury. By following these 3 recommendations for selecting and eating fish or shellfish, women and young children will receive the benefits of eating fish and shellfish and be confident that they have reduced their exposure to the harmful effects of mercury. Follow these same recommendations when feeding fish and shellfish to young children, but serve smaller portions.

    1. Do not eat Shark, Swordfish, King Mackerel, or Tilefish because they contain high levels of mercury.
    2. Eat up to 12 ounces (2 average meals) a week of a variety of fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury. Five of the most commonly eaten fish that are low in mercury are shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, and catfish. Another commonly eaten fish, albacore ("white") tuna has more mercury than canned light tuna. So, when choosing your two meals of fish and shellfish, you may eat up to 6 ounces (one average meal) of albacore tuna per week.
    3. Check local advisories about the safety of fish caught by family and friends in your local lakes, rivers, and coastal areas. If no advice is available, eat up to 6 ounces (one average meal) per week of fish you catch from local waters, but don't consume any other fish during that week.

    For more information, visit the EPA's website: www.epa.gov/waterscience/fish/advisory.html

  • Delaware, New Jersey join in fish consumption warnings

    Delaware and New Jersey revised their fish consumption advisories this month for waters of the Delaware Estuary - stretching from Cape Henlopen, Del., and Cape May, N.J., to the Pennsylvania border - so that the recommendations and species covered are the same. In the past, each state made its own decisions in recommending which species of fish recreational anglers should eat, and in what quantity. "Different and sometimes conflicting advisories used in shared waters often confuse the public," said New Jersey environmental commissioner Bradley Campbell. "Providing a common message to the fishing public in both states will help people make informed choices about the fish they eat." In agreeing to issue joint consumption advisories, Delaware adopted a bluefish warning that New Jersey had, while New Jersey agreed to reduce its warning on striped bass caught in some areas from "do not eat" to one meal per year. Along with the new joint advisories, the states hope to take advantage of each other's sampling data.

    Source: The Associated Press, Randall Chase, March 27, 2004

  • Pennsylvania fish consumption advisory updated

    Pennsylvania state officials recently released an update of the consumption advisory for recreationally caught sport fish. All recreationally caught fish in Pennsylvania are subject to a one- meal-per-week consumption advisory. In addition, the state has four other categories of advisories: two meals per month; one meal per month; one meal every two months; or do not eat for fish with higher levels of chemical contamination. One meal is considered to be one-half pound of fish for a 150-pound person. The state's fish consumption advisories apply only to recreationally caught fish and do not apply to fish raised in commercial fish hatcheries or bought in stores or restaurants. Pennsylvania is the only state to annually test its state hatchery trout. For 2004, trout stocked from state hatcheries are covered under the statewide one-meal-per-week consumption advisory. Pennsylvania's Fish and Boat Commission's web site www.fish.state.pa.us includes a complete list of waters where consumption advisories are currently in effect.

    Source: PR Newswire, Feb 24, 2003.

  • South Dakota adds mercury advisories to 5 lakes

    Five South Dakota lakes have been added to a state warning list because of high mercury concentrations in fish. The list has been growing since April 2000, when a mercury advisory was issued for Bitter Lake in northeast South Dakota. Now, lakes in other parts of the state also have been added to the list. The the lakes and fish species cited on the warning list include:

    • Roosevelt Lake near Colome - largemouth bass 18 inches or longer
    • Lake Isabel in Kingsbury County - large northern pike
    • Twin Lakes in Kingsbury County - large northern pike and walleye
    • Lake Hurley in Potter County - large largemouth bass.
    Mercury has been detected in fish collected from Lake Oahe on the Missouri River and elsewhere in the state, but not in concentrations high enough to require fish consumption advisories. Nearly all fish species contain small traces of mercury and generally this is not a problem. Certain fish, however, contain much higher concentrations mercury - more than 1 ppm. The higher levels of mercury are primarily an issue for pregnant women, women who intend to become pregnant and women who are breastfeeding. The state recommends that all children under age 7 years limit the amount of fish they eat.

    Source: Associated Press March 19th, 2004

  • Dioxin levels drop in trout and bass from two Maine rivers

    Dioxin tissue concentrations have declined in trout and bass from the Kennebec and Penobscot rivers in Maine although it is unlikely to result in an immediate change in fish consumption advisories. The advisories also include other contaminants such as mercury as well. Maine health officials noted that there were still dioxin residues in fish in the Androscoggin River and Androscoggin Lake at levels of public health concern. Maine environmental staff still must monitor the Kennebec and Penobscot Rivers for another year or two to confirm the substantial decline in dioxin levels in fish. Even if the advisories are changed for bass and trout on the two rivers, advisories may remain for suckers, which accumulate higher concentrations of dioxin than the other fish. Fish collected from many sampling locations along Maine's rivers contain dioxin well below the current fish tissue action level of 1.5 pptr for protection from cancer-related effects and 1.8 pptr for protection from other health effects. Maine law prohibits any discharges of dioxin into state waters. The Department of Environmental Protection will use a test protocol consisting of three species -- bass, suckers and caged mussels - to determine the compliance of pulp and paper mills to the state's zero-discharge standard law.

    Source: AP - Associated Press, 3/3/2004


Current Events, News and Journal Articles

  • Global assessment of organic contaminants in farmed salmon

    Global production of farmed salmon has increased by a factor of 40 during the past 20 years. Farmed salmon are available year-round from areas of northern Europe, North America, and Chile. Salmon farms have been criticized for their impacts on the environment, but the potential human health risks of farmed salmon consumption have not been examined. The authors analyzed over 2 metric tons of farmed and wild salmon from around the world for organochlorine contaminants, and found that concentrations of these contaminants are significantly higher in farmed salmon than in wild. European-raised salmon have significantly higher levels of contaminants than those raised in North and South America, indicating a need for further research into the sources of contamination. Risk analysis conducted by the authors indicates that consumption of farmed Atlantic salmon may pose health risks that detract from the beneficial effects of fish consumption.

    Source: Hites, R.A., J.A. Foran, D.O. Carpenter, M.C. Hamilton, B.A. Knuth, and S.J. Schwager. 2004. Science 303(5655): 154-5.

  • Measurement of mercury levels in concentrated over-the-counter fish oil preparations: is fish oil healthier than fish?

    Fish consumption has been associated with a decreased risk of heart disease. However, recent studies have shown that the high mercury concentrations in cold-water fish may negate the cardiovascular benefits of eating fish. Fish oils have similar antiatherogenic properties to fish, and the authors conducted similar research to determine the level of mercury in 5 over-the-counter brands of fish oils. The authors reported that the mercury levels in the 5 different brands of fish oil ranged from nondetectable (<6 ppb) to negligible (10-12 ppb). The mercury levels of fish oil were similar to the basal concentration normally found in human blood. Many fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and their consumption is recommended to decrease the risk of heart disease. The several fish oil brands examined in this study showed that fish oil have negligible amounts of mercury.

    Source: 2003. Foran, S.E., J.G. Flood, and K.B. Lewandrowski. Arch Pathol Lab Med 127(12): 1603-5.

  • A new cutaneous sign of mercury poisoning?

    Chronic mercury poisoning is becoming a public health concern because of increasing pollution of water and fish, and the increasing consumption of fish in the human diet. Mercury is extremely toxic to the body, especially the central nervous system, but diagnosis is difficult because of the lack of specific signs. A total of 11 patients were found to have a nonpruritic or mildly pruritic discreet papular and papulovesicular eruption that correlated with high blood mercury concentrations. Apparently, the mercury came from increased seafood consumption. The condition of all of the patients improved when they were placed on either chelation therapy or a seafood-free diet. In patients who eat a high-seafood diet and who present with an asymptomatic or mildly pruritic papular or papulovesicular eruption, physicians should suspect mercury poisoning.

    Source: Dantzig, P.I. 2003. J Am Acad Dermatol 49(6): 1109-11.

  • A comparison of congeneric PCB patterns in American eels and striped bass from the Hudson and Delaware River estuaries.

    The Hudson River estuary has enormous spatial variations in PCB contamination resulting from historical point source discharges above Troy Dam. The Delaware River estuary has accumulated significant levels of PCBs through decades of industrial, municipal, and non-point source inputs. The authors' goal was to use existing data sets to compare and contrast the patterns of accumulated PCB congeners in sub-populations of American eels and striped bass inhabiting these two estuaries and adjacent coastal waters. Using principal component analysis and analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), inter- and intra-estuarine differences in accumulated congeneric patterns were denoted for both species. The authors results support the idea that migratory behaviors of striped bass hamper the use of accumulated congener-specific PCB patterns in providing information on localized contamination, although major regional differences were seen between upriver Hudson River fish, downriver Hudson River fish, and fish from other areas within this study. The authors provide additional evidence for the use of the American eel as a biomonitoring tool, since its limited home range provides finer resolution of regional contamination problems.

    Source: Ashley, J.T., R. Horwitz, J.C. Steinbacher, and B. Ruppel. 2003. Mar Pollut Bull 46(10):1294-308.

  • Mercury in UK imported fish and shellfish and UK-farmed fish and their products

    Total mercury concentrations were analyzed in fish and shellfish and their products imported into the UK and also in UK-produced farmed salmon and trout. In all 336 samples were collected using a 2-stage sampling plan. The sampling plan was weighted to reflect consumption, but with some bias towards sampling fish that might accumulate higher mercury levels, such as large predatory fish. The highest levels of total mercury were detected in billfish (swordfish and marlin) and shark. Mercury levels in the five samples of fresh/frozen shark ranged from 1.006 to 2.200 ppm, all above the European Commission limit for the species, and concentrations in 20 samples of fresh/frozen billfish ranged from 0.153 to 2.706 ppm with 13 samples above the 1 ppm limit for the species. One sample of fresh/frozen tuna out of the 20 collected had a mercury concentration above the limit of 1 ppm (1.5 ppm), but all other fresh tuna samples were well within the regulatory limit (average 0.4 ppm). In canned tuna, mercury levels were lower with concentrations on average half that measured in fresh/frozen tuna. Mercury levels in UK-farmed salmon and trout were relatively low; maximum concentration found in 46 samples of fresh/frozen or smoked trout and salmon was 0.103 ppm.

    Source: Knowles, T. G., D. Farrington, and S.C. Kestin. 2003. Food Addit Contam 20(9): 813-8.

  • Factors affecting food chain transfer of mercury in the vicinity of the Nyanza Site, Sudbury River, Massachusetts

    Effects of the Nyanza Chemical Waste Dump Superfund Site on the Sudbury River, MA were evaluated using sediment analysis, fish prey organisms, and predator fish from four locations on the river. Whitehall Reservoir is an impoundment upstream of the site, and Reservoir #2 is an impoundment downstream of the site. Cedar Street is a flowing reach upstream of the site, and Sherman Bridge is a flowing reach downstream of the site. Samples were collected three times, in May, July, and October. Sediment was analyzed for simultaneously-extracted (SEM) metals (As, Cd, Cr, Hg, Pb, Sb, Zn), and total recoverable Hg. Largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), the dominant predatory species at all sites was analyzed for the same suite of metals as sediment. Analysis of stomach contents of bass identified small fish (yellow perch, Perca flavescens; bluegill, Lepomis macrochirus; and pumpkinseed, Lepomis gibbosus), crayfish, and dragonfly larvae as the dominant prey organisms. Prey samples were collected from the same locations and at the same times as predator fish, and were analyzed for total and methylmercury. Results of the analyses indicated that sediments were not toxic to aquatic invertebrates at any site. The concentrations of As, Cd, and Cr were significantly higher at Reservoir #2 than at the reference sites, and As and Cd were significantly higher at Sherman Bridge than at Cedar Street. Sediment total mercury levels were elevated only at Reservoir #2. Mercury was higher at site-influenced locations in all fish species except brown bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosus). Cd was higher in bluegill, black crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus), and brown bullhead, and Cr was higher in largemouth bass fillet samples but not in whole-body samples. No seasonal differences in sediment or prey organism metals were apparent, but some metals in some fish species did vary over time in an inconsistent manner. Predator fish mercury levels were significantly linearly related to weighted prey organism methylmercury concentration. Mercury levels in largemouth bass were significantly lower at Reservoir #2 in our study than in previous investigations in 1989 and 1990. High concentrations of inorganic Hg remain in river sediment resulting from the Nyanza site, and fish mercury levels in river reaches downstream of the site are elevated compared to upstream reference sites. Despite this, the differences are relatively small and Hg concentrations in largemouth bass from the site-influenced locations are no greater than those from nearby uncontaminated sites. The authors believe this results from burial of contaminated sediment with cleaner material, which reduces bioavailability of metals and possibly reduces methylation of mercury.

    Source: Haines, T. A., T.W. May, R.T. Finlayson, and S.E. Mierzykowski. 2003. Environ Monit Assess 86(3): 211-32.

  • Sub-clinical neurobehavioral abnormalities associated with low level of mercury exposure through fish consumption

    In order to assess early neurotoxic effects associated with low levels of mercury absorbed through dietary fish consumption, two groups of 22 adult males, habitual consumers of tuna fish, and 22 controls were examined using a cross-sectional field study. The assessment method included neurobehavioral tests of vigilance and psychomotor function, hand tremor measurements and serum prolactin assessment. Mercury in the urine (U-Hg) and serum prolactin (sPRL) were also measured in all exposed subjects and controls, whereas measurements of the organic component of mercury in blood (O-Hg) were available for only 10 exposed and 6 controls. Among exposed subjects, U-Hg was significant higher (median 6.5 ppm of creatinine, range 1.8-21.5 ppm) than controls (median 1.5 ppm of creatinine, range 0.5-5.3 ppm). Median values of O-Hg were 41.5 ppb among the tuna fish eaters and 2.6 ppb among controls. Both U-Hg and O-Hg were significantly correlated with the amount of fish consumption per week. Neurobehavioral performance of subjects who consumed tuna regularly was significantly worse on color word reaction time, digit symbol reaction time, and finger tapping speed. After considering education level of the subjects and other covariates, a multiple stepwise regression analysis indicated that O-Hg concentration was most significantly associated with individual performance on these tests, accounting for about 65% of the variance in test scores.

    Source: Carta, P., C. Costantino, R. Alinovi, A. Ibba, M.G. Tocco, G. Aru, R. Carta, E. Girei, A. Mutti, R. Lucchini, and F. S. Randaccio. Neurotoxicology 2003; 24(4-5): 617-23.

  • Rapidly increasing polybrominated diphenyl ether concentrations in the Columbia River system from 1992 to 2000

    Congener patterns and concentrations of 32 individual PBDE congeners from mono- through hexa-brominated were analyzed in two fish species occupying similar habitats--but having different diet preferences and trophic levels. Similar analysis was conducted on surficial sediments from several locations on the Columbia River, in southeastern British Columbia, Canada. Total PBDE concentrations increased by 12-fold over the period from 1992-2000 in mountain whitefish with a doubling period of 1.6 years. The rate PBDE concentrations are increasing in whitefish is greater than has been previously reported worldwide. At the current rate of increase, total PBDE will surpass those of total PCBs by 2003 to become the most prevalent organo-halogen contaminant in the region. Total PBDEs in whitefish from the Columbia River range up to 72 ppb wet weight, and are 20 to 50-fold higher than in a nearby pristine watershed affected only by atmospheric inputs. Conversely, total PBDEs in largescale suckers were approximately an order of magnitude lower than in whitefish, which demonstrates the influence of biomagnification and feeding habits. Congener patterns in whitefish directly correlated with the two major commercial penta-BDE mixtures in use and represent the first time feral fish have been found to contain PBDE congener patterns so similar to commercial mixtures. PBDE sediment concentrations were not linked to a variety of point sources, but were instead influenced by septic field inputs from the primarily rural population.

    Source: Rayne, S., M.G. Ikonomou, and B. Antcliffe. 2003. Environ Sci Technol 37(13): 2847-54.

  • Assessing trends in organochlorine concentrations in Lake Winnipeg fish following the 1997 Red River flood

    In this study, the authors report short-term trends in organochlorine (OC) levels in fish from Lake Winnipeg, Canada in the months and years following the 1997 100-year flood event of the Red River. Their aim was to understand the effects of this episodic event on OC levels in benthic and pelagic invertebrates and fish. Despite elevated loading of OCs into the south basin of Lake Winnipeg during the flood, there were no changes in OC levels of surface sediments or emergent mayflies. After adjusting for lipid content and length among samples, they found significant increases in total DDT and total PCBs post-flood in top predators including walleye and burbot. Significant increases were noted in OC concentrations of zooplankton and yellow perch ( > 2 fold in total PCBs, total DDT, total chlordane, total chlorobenzenes) and walleye (1.4 fold total PCBs) over a 2-month period in the summer following the flood. Analysis of congener patterns over time suggested that major changes in fish OC levels pre- and post-flood did not appear to be linked to transport of new compounds into the Lake during the flood, but to species shifts within the plankton community. The results suggest that short-term variation (2 months) in OC distributions within biota may be equal to or greater than those resulting from episodic events such as spring floods.

    Source: Stewart, A.R., G. A. Stern, W.L. Lockhart, K.A. Kidd, A.G.Salki, M.P.Stainton, K. Koczanski, G.B. Rosenberg, D.A. Savoie, B. N. Billeck, P. Wilkinson, and D.C.G. Muir. 2003. Journal-of-Great-Lakes-Research 29: 2, 332-354.

  • Reduced levels of mercury in first baby haircuts of autistic children

    In the U.S. and the United Kingdom, autism rates have increased sharply. A possible reason for this increase is increased exposure to mercury through thimerosal-containing vaccines. Vaccine exposures, however, need to be evaluated in the context of total exposures during gestation and early infancy. Differential rates of postnatal mercury elimination may explain why similar gestational and infant exposures produce variable neurological effects. First baby haircut samples were obtained from 94 autistic children and 45 age- and gender-matched controls. Information on dietary consumption, number of dental amalgams, vaccine history, Rho D immunoglobulin administration, and autism symptom severity was collected through a maternal survey questionnaire and clinical observation. Mercury hair levels in the autistic group were 0.47 ppm versus 3.63 ppm in controls, a significant difference. Mothers in the autistic group had significantly higher levels of mercury exposure through Rho D immunoglobulin injections and amalgam fillings than control mothers. Within the autistic group, hair mercury levels varied significantly across mildly, moderately, and severely autistic children, with mean group levels of 0.79, 0.46, and 0.21 ppm, respectively. Hair mercury levels among controls were significantly correlated with the number of the mothers' amalgams and their fish eating pattern as well as exposure to mercury through childhood vaccines. These same correlations were absent in the autistic group. Hair excretion patterns among autistic infants were significantly reduced relative to control infants. The authors suggest that these data cast doubt on the efficacy of traditional hair analysis as a measure of total mercury exposure in a subset of the population. Because of mercury's role in neurodevelopmental disorders, the present study provides insight into one possible mechanism by which early mercury exposures could increase the risk of autism.

    Source: Holmes, A. S., M.F. Blaxill, and B.E. Haley. 2003. Int J Toxicol 22(4): 277-85.

  • Developing risk-based target concentrations for carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon compounds assuming human consumption of aquatic biota

    Target groundwater concentrations were developed as goals for a planned cleanup effort as part of the remediation process at a former creosote-handling facility in Washington. Considering the state's regulatory requirements and site-specific conditions, these concentrations were established to protect surface water in the lake adjacent to the site. Risk-based values were calculated assuming that chemicals were transported in groundwater, discharged into the lake, and bioaccumulated by aquatic organisms that may be consumed by humans. Carcinogenic PAHs are among the primary chemicals driving remediation decisions at this site, which have minimal mobility and are metabolized by many types of edible aquatic species. The authors assessed the validity for cPAH compounds of the required default regulatory assumptions and derived alternative risk-based concentrations. Their analyses focused on factors that would modify the generic assumption regarding bioconcentration of PAH compounds in aquatic biota and influence bioavailability of PAH compounds to humans consuming the biota. Modifications based on these factors and the use of TEFs resulted in alternative risk-based concentrations for individual PAH compounds that ranged from 7 to 700 times greater than the default value of 0.03 ppm.

    Source: Petito Boyce, C. and M. Gary. 2003. J Toxicol Environ Health B Crit Rev (5):497-520.

  • Distribution of mercury in the tissues of five species of freshwater fish from Lake Mead, USA

    Total mercury (Hg) levels were determined in 7 tissues(skeletal muscle, liver, blood, gonad, brain, gill, and heart) of 59 striped bass and 4 tissues (muscle, liver, blood, and gonad) of 69 largemouth bass, 76 channel catfish, 12 bluegill, and 22 blue tilapia from Lake Mead, USA. Generally, mercury levels increased with fish body length and according to trophic level. For striped bass, mean Hg levels (ppb, wet weight) were highest in the liver (531 ppb), followed by muscle (309 ppb), heart (186 ppb), gonad (136 ppb), brain (77 ppb), gill (52 ppb), and blood (36 ppb). Similarly, Hg concentrations in both catfish and tilapia were liver > muscle > gonad > blood. In contrast, largemouth bass and bluegill sunfish had the highest levels in muscle, followed by liver, gonad, and blood. Generally, Hg levels were strongly correlated among the tissues, especially for blood/muscle and blood/liver. As the body burden of Hg increased, the concentration in blood and organs increased relative to the concentration in muscle. This trend was most pronounced for liver tissue. These relationships could be used to form the basis of a predictive model and suggest that blood and muscle (plugs) can be useful for a non-lethal measure of Hg concentration and exposure in fish. For striped bass, elevated Hg tissue levels were also correlated with the degree of emaciation. Liver-to-muscle ratios were similar to literature values, except for tilapia with an average ratio of approximately 1.7, which is higher than generally reported for non-piscivores.

    Source: Cizdziel, J., T. Hinners, C. Cross, and J. Pollard. 2003. J Environ Monit 5(5): 802-7.

  • Polybrominated diphenyl ethers in the environment and in people: a meta-analysis of concentrations

    Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are used in many types of consumer products as flame retardents. Because of their widespread use and their lipophilicity, these compounds have become ubiquitous in the environment and in humans. This review article summarizes PBDE monitoring data measured in several environmental media and assesses these data in terms of relative concentrations, concentration trends, and congener profiles. In human blood, milk, and tissues, total PBDE levels have increased exponentially by a factor of approximately 100 during the last 30 yrs equivalent to a doubling time of 5 yrs. Current PBDE levels in human tissues in Europe are about 2 ppb lipid, while the levels in the U.S. population are much higher at about 35 ppb lipid. Current PBDE levels in marine mammals from the Canadian Arctic are very low (5 ppb lipid), but levels have increased exponentially (doubling time of 7 yrs). Marine mammals from the rest of the world have PBDE levels of about 1,000 ppb lipid, and these levels have increased exponentially (doubling time of 5 yrs). Some Swedish birds' eggs are also highly contaminated (2,000 ppb lipid) and show PBDE doubling times of 6 yrs. Herring gull eggs from the Great Lakes now have PBDE concentrations of 7,000 ppb lipid (doubling time of 3 yrs). European fish have approximately 10 times lower PBDE concentrations than North American fish. The author concludes that the environment and people of North America are much more contaminated with PBDEs as compared to Europe and that PBDE levels have doubled every 4-6 yr. Analyses of the relative distributions of the most abundant PBDE congeners indicates that these patterns cannot yet be used to assign sources to these pollutants.

    Source: Hites, R.A. 2004. Environ Sci Technol 38(4): 945-56.


Meetings and Conferences

  • Mercury: Medical and Public Health Issues

    April 28-30, 2004 at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel and Marina, Tampa, Florida. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has joined with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and several medical/public health associations to provide a state-of-the-art program on the medical and public health aspects of mercury exposure. This symposium will bring together members of the healthcare, scientific, public health and environmental professions. Participants will improve their understanding of how the medical, public health and environmental communities can better communicate on mercury-related issues and assist practitioners in better advising their patients on mercury exposures. For more information and to register, visit the website: www.epa.gov/pbt/mercurysymposium.htm

  • National Environmental Health Association Meeting

    May 9-12, 2004 in Anchorage, Alaska. Food Safety and Protection Conference and Exhibition. Visit the website for more information: www.neha.org/AEC/food.

  • American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting

    The American Fisheries Society (AFS) will convene its 134th Annual Meeting at the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Monona Terrace in downtown Madison, Wisconsin, from August 22nd through August 26th, 2004. The theme celebrates Wisconsin's name (which has been translated as "gathering of waters") and Wisconsin's celebrated ecologist Aldo Leopold. Your hosts invite you to gather with professionals, with colleagues, with old friends, and with new friends on the Isthmus next summer to learn how Leopold's legacy has influenced the conservation of our aquatic resources in the past and to plan how it may influence the future. For more information or to register, visit the website: www.afs2004madison.org/index.shtml. [broken link]

  • Midwestern States Risk Assessment Symposium

    August 25-27, 2004 at the Indianapolis Hyatt Regency Hotel. The 2nd Midwestern States Risk Assessment Symposium will feature some of the leading experts in the United States as speakers. The format will include oral and poster presentations, panel discussions, and meals with prominent speakers. The symposium will also feature Vendor exhibits and provide many opportunities for networking with colleagues from industry, government, academia, and consulting firms. Four states (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio) are co-chairing sessions this year. Additional information, online registration, and abstract submission for papers and posters can be found at www.spea.indiana.edu/msras.

  • Fourth SETAC World Congress

    The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) will hold the Fourth SETAC World Congress and the 25th Annual Meeting for North America concurrently in Portland, OR November 14-18, 2004. The theme for the Fourth SETAC World Congress is "SETAC: 25 Years of Interdisciplinary Science Serving Global Society 1979 - 2004" For more information visit the website: www.setac.org/portland.html.

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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