Virginia Dept. of Health issues fish consumption warning for some lakes, rivers

Virginia News
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ROANOKE, Va. – The Virginia Department of Health has issued a fish consumption advisory for fish caught in the Roanoke River, Dan River and Smith Mountain Lake.

The advisory said people should limit the amount of certain bass, catfish and walleye caught in the waterways.

The health concern is over polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB’s) in the tissue of fish.

CLICK HERE for the fish consumption advisory map.

CLICK HERE to read the list of fish species on the advisory.

PCBs are chemical contaminants and are classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as probable human carcinogens. There are no known current sources of PCBs in water. Past uses in hydraulic fluids, plasticizers, adhesives, fire retardants, pesticide extenders, de- dusting agents, inks, cutting o ils, heat transfer systems, carbonless reproducing paper, and leaking transformers have contributed to the environmental contamination. Long-term exposure to PCBs may increase the risk of cancer. Some studies in humans have also suggested that PCB exposure may cause a diverse developmental effects in children and developing fetuses. Infants and children are particularly sensitive to the effects of PCBs since their nervous systems are still developing . PCBs also build up in women’s bodies and are often passed on in the mother’s milk. Therefore, VDH is recommending that high risk individuals, such as pregnant women, woman planning to be come pregnant, nursing mothers, infants, and young children should avoid eating PCB-contaminated fish from the advisory areas.

— VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

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