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Fish consumption advisory guidelines updated
Several new changes to 2016 guidelines for fish caught in various Kentucky waters.
Click on headline for charts with advisories, including warnings on certain fish from Green River Lake, lakewide, for PCB/mercury levels
From Commonwealth News Center
FRANKFORT, KY - (17 Feb 2016) - The statewide fish consumption advisory has been revised due to levels of mercury found in fish samples from Kentucky waters, the Kentucky Departments for Public Health, Environmental Protection, and Fish and Wildlife Resources announced today.
Fish consumption advisories are intended to advise the public of potential adverse health problems that may result from eating fish caught from a particular area. An advisory does not ban eating fish; it is a guide to help citizens reduce risk and make informed decisions about eating fish from Kentucky waters.
"We want Kentuckians to be informed about any potential danger or ill effects that could result from the food they consume - and that includes fish caught locally in our rivers, streams and lakes," said Kathy Fowler, director of the DPH Division of Public Health Safety. "Contaminants, like mercury, can be harmful to the brain and nervous system if a person is exposed to too much of them. We ask that Kentuckians be mindful of the kinds and amounts of fish they consume, particularly more sensitive populations such as infants, young children and pregnant women."
Mercury occurs naturally and can also be released to the environment through many types of human activity. It can collect in streams and lakes where it is converted into methylmercury in the sediment. Once converted, methylmercury is absorbed by small organisms such as bacteria and plankton, which are then consumed by larger organisms progressing up the food chain to predatory fish such as largemouth bass, walleye and musky.
According to 2009 United States Environmental Protection Agency document "The National Study of Chemical Residues in Lake Fish Tissue", mercury has been found in fish in all states including Kentucky. Kentucky's average mercury concentration in fish tissue is similar to national levels.
Kentucky consumption advisories are developed based on the USEPA document "Guidance for Assessing Chemical Contaminant Data for Use in Fish Tissue Advisories" which outlines risk based consumption limits for methylmercury. Consumption advisories do not affect those who swim, ski or boat in Kentucky waters.
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Current KY standing individual fish consumption advisories
New fish from KY waters consumption advisory: 2016
This story was posted on 2016-02-17 15:08:11
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