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Water: News

Newsletter—November 2008

 


Recent Advisory News

State renews warnings about eating Hudson River fish.

Schenectady, NY—The New York Department of Health is ramping up its outreach program to communicate fish consumption advisories for PCBs on the Hudson River. The advisory program is being presented at a number of meetings this month and fish advisory signs have been posted at several locations along the river. In addition, the department has sponsored the Hudson River Fish Advisory Outreach Project in an effort to reach out to various communities, anglers and subsistence fishermen along the Hudson River.

Source: Daily Gazette (NY); 10/14/2008

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Many anglers unaware state waters are contaminated

Hampton Roads, VA—The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality released a study indicating that over half of the mercury found in Virginia waters originates from outside the state. Additionally, the study found that nearly 50% of anglers were not aware of the state?s fish consumption advisories for mercury.

Source: The Virginian-Pilot (VA); 10/22/2008

Press release: New Utah waterways added to fish consumption advisory list

Salt Lake City, UT—Utah Department of Health, Utah Department of Environmental Quality and the Utah Department of Natural Resources issued six new fish consumption advisories for mercury across the state of Utah. In addition, five existing fish consumption advisories were revised for mercury. Please visit www.fishadvisories.utah.gov for more information on the advisories.

Salt Lake Tribune (UT); 09/30/2008


Current Events

Health Consultation: Evaluation of Contaminant Exposures from Human Consumption of Crabs and Oysters near the ATLANTIC WOOD INDUSTRIES SITE, Portsmouth, Virginia

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This article summarizes the findings of an EPA and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) risk investigation. Crabs and oysters in the southern branch of the Elizabeth River in Portsmouth, VA were evaluated for contaminants. The study found that levels of PCBs were elevated but should not pose a health risk to individuals in the general population who consume 2 crab meat meals or less per month. Additionally, dioxin and arsenic were detected but should not pose a health risk to general populations consuming 2 crabmeat meals or less. Sensitive populations should not consume shellfish from the area. The results of this study will serve as a basis for developing a public health action plan and risk communications outreach efforts.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Division of Health Assessment and Consultation (ATSDR). 2008. Health Consultation: Evaluation of Contaminant Exposures from Human Consumption of Crabs and Oysters near the ATLANTIC WOOD INDUSTRIES SITE, Portsmouth, Virginia. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Division of Health Assessment and Consultation. Atlanta, Georgia.

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Congress approves ban on mercury exports

Chicago, IL—Congress has approved a bill that bans the exports of mercury and requires mercury to be stored permanently and safely by the U.S. Department of Energy. The bill would ban all exports beginning in 2013.

Source: Chicago Tribune (IL); 09/29/2008

Persistence of organochlorine chemical residues in fish from the Tombigbee River (Alabama, USA): Continuing risk to wildlife from a former DDT manufacturing facility

The authors observed elevated concentrations of DDT, PCBs, and toxaphene in fish from the Tombigee River near the site of a former DDT facility in McIntosh, Alabama. Additionally, levels of DDT were elevated in predatory bird species such as the bald eagle and osprey. These concentrations exceed established protection levels and represent an ongoing risk to the health of local wildlife.

Hinck, J. E., R. J. Norstrom, et al. (2008). "Persistence of organochlorine chemical residues in fish from the Tombigbee River (Alabama, USA): Continuing risk to wildlife from a former DDT manufacturing facility." Environ Pollut.

Assessment of polybrominated diphenyl ether exposures and health risks associated with consumption of southern Mississippi catfish

This study evaluated the concentrations of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in catfish in relation to the human risk posed by fish consumption. Both wild catfish and farm-raised catfish were analyzed for PBDE concentrations. The authors used daily intake levels of a Mississippi population that relies on catfish as a substantial component of their daily diet and determined that the relative consumption risks to this population were below the level of concern set by U.S. EPA.

Staskal, D. F., L. L. Scott, et al. (2008). "Assessment of polybrominated diphenyl ether exposures and health risks associated with consumption of southern Mississippi catfish." Environ Sci Technol 42(17): 6755-61.

Fishers weigh in: benefits and risks of eating Great Lakes fish from the consumer's perspective

The authors present a summary of a multi-disciplinary research project to assess the perceived cultural benefits, health risks, and risk management approaches of consumers of Great Lakes fish. Based on the findings of this study, the authors suggest that risk assessment, management, and communication strategies should more effectively address the perceived benefits as well as concerns of populations that consume the highest amounts of Great Lakes fish.

Dawson, J., J. Sheeshka, et al. (2008). "Fishers weigh in: benefits and risks of eating Great Lakes fish from the consumer's perspective." Agriculture and Human Values 25(3): 349-364.

Estimates of fish consumption rates for consumers of bought and self-caught fish in Connecticut, Florida, Minnesota, and North Dakota

U.S. EPA analyzed the results of state and local fish consumption surveys to identify patterns in fish consumption related to various factors such as socioeconomic status and source of fish. The study observed that those cohorts that ate both recreationally and commercially-caught fish had higher consumption rates. Additionally, the highest consumption rates were found among children in Florida (age 1-6) and in Florida cohorts with high household income and education.

Moya J, Itkin C, Selevan SG, Rogers JW, Clickner RP. Estimates of fish consumption rates for consumers of bought and self-caught fish in Connecticut, Florida, Minnesota, and North Dakota. Sci Total Environ. 2008 Sep 15;403(1-3):89-98

Issues in Evaluating Fish Consumption Rates for Native American Tribes

This article evaluates the effectiveness of conventional survey methodology to assess the fish consumption rates in tribal groups. The authors concluded that community based interview methods may be more effective in evaluating Tribal consumption rates than conventional surveys because they are more likely to accurately represent the Tribal populations as well as detect alterations or adaptations to traditional consumption rates. Additional methods are presented as alternatives to evaluate traditional subsistence consumption, where applicable.

Donatuto, J. and B. L. Harper (2008). "Issues in Evaluating Fish Consumption Rates for Native American Tribes." Risk Anal.

Discriminating sources of PCB contamination in fish on the coastal shelf off San Diego, California (USA)

The authors employed survival regression analyses techniques to determine the sources and spatial patterns of PCB sources on the San Diego coastal shelf. Using point source data from waste treatment facilities, the authors suggest that ongoing dumping of dredged contaminated sediments from San Diego Bay represent a major source of PCBs off the San Diego coast.

Ed Parnell, P., A. K. Groce, et al. (2008). "Discriminating sources of PCB contamination in fish on the coastal shelf off San Diego, California (USA)." Mar Pollut Bull.

Lead pollution in subtropical ecosystems on the SE Gulf of California Coast: A study of concentrations and isotopic composition

Results from this study indicate that lead found in sediments, soils and aquatic microorganisms in the Southeast Gulf of California are primarily derived from mining practices for leaded-gasoline production and, to a lesser extent, U. S. industrial emissions. Additionally, lead concentrations exceeding human health protection levels were found in 20-40% of oyster and fish samples and 100% of crabs obtained in the coastal gulf waters.

Soto-Jimenez, M. F., F. Paez-Osuna, et al. (2008). "Lead pollution in subtropical ecosystems on the SE Gulf of California Coast: A study of concentrations and isotopic composition." Mar Environ Res 66(4): 451-8.

Mercury levels and fish consumption practices in women of child-bearing age in the Florida Panhandle

The authors of this study analyzed hair mercury levels and conducted a fish consumption advisory awareness study in women of child-bearing age near Pensacola, Florida. Hair mercury levels were observed to be significantly higher in women that had recently consumed fish and women who were unaware of the fish consumption advisories in the area. The authors suggest that risk communication strategies have not effectively targeted this portion of the population.

Karouna-Renier, N. K., K. Ranga Rao, et al. (2008). "Mercury levels and fish consumption practices in women of child-bearing age in the Florida Panhandle." Environ Res.

Associations of maternal fish intake during pregnancy and breastfeeding duration with attainment of developmental milestones in early childhood: a study from the Danish National Birth Cohort

The authors used regression techniques to evaluate the effects of maternal fish intake and breastfeeding on child development. Both maternal fish intake and longer breastfeeding were positively correlated with child development scores. The authors suggest that the benefits of fish intake on child development should be considered in risk assessments.

Oken, E., M. L. Osterdal, et al. (2008). "Associations of maternal fish intake during pregnancy and breastfeeding duration with attainment of developmental milestones in early childhood: a study from the Danish National Birth Cohort." Am J Clin Nutr 88(3): 789-96.

Exploratory assessment of sportfish consumption and polybrominated diphenyl ether exposure in New York State anglers

Results of this study suggest that the polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) body burden of anglers in New York is positively associated with sportfish consumption. The authors also note that other factors, such as consumption of other animal proteins may also be sources of exposure.

Spliethoff, H. M., M. S. Bloom, et al. (2008). "Exploratory assessment of sportfish consumption and polybrominated diphenyl ether exposure in New York State anglers." Environ Res.

Development of a magnetic particle immunoassay for polybrominated diphenyl ethers and application to environmental and food matrices

This study presents sensitive magnetic particle enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA) as a rapid and cost-effective technique to analyze polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in fish, soil, water and other matrices. ELISA compared favorably with the sensitivity and precision of standard methods, but demonstrated higher recovery.

Shelver, W. L., C. D. Parrotta, et al. (2008). "Development of a magnetic particle immunoassay for polybrominated diphenyl ethers and application to environmental and food matrices." Chemosphere 73(1): S18-S23.

Review of Food Policy and Consumer Issues of Mercury in Fish

This article reviews the contradictory messages on fish consumption risks communicated to women of child-bearing age. The authors suggest that the current risk communication strategies may need more information on fish consumption benefits because an estimated 2 million women may not consume enough fish containing low mercury levels compared to the estimated 250,000 women who consume too much fish containing high levels of mercury.

R. S. Hughner, Maher, J.K. and N. M. Childs. (2008). Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Vol. 27, No. 2, 185-194


Meetings and Conferences

2008 Annual Meeting. Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC)

November 16–20, 2008, Tampa, Florida. For more information, please visit:

http://www.setac.org/tampa/Exit EPA Disclaimer

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2008 Annual Meeting. American Water Resources Conference (AWRA)

November 17–20, 2008, New Orleans, Louisiana. For more information, please visit:

http://awra.org/meetings/NewOrleans2008/index.htmlExit EPA Disclaimer

2008 Annual Meeting. Society for Risk Analysis (SRA)

December 7–10, 2008, Boston, Massachusetts. For more information please visit:

http://www.sra.org/events_2008_meeting.phpExit EPA Disclaimer

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.htmExit EPA Disclaimer


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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