For Immediate Release
KDHE Office of Communications
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) are issuing revised fish consumption advisories for 2011. The advisories identify types of fish that should be eaten in limited quantities or, in some cases, avoided altogether because of contamination found in tested fish.
The waterbody specific advisories listed below are based on mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in fish, lead and cadmium in shellfish, and perchlorate in all forms of aquatic life. Data from most long-term monitoring sites show an overall gradual decline in PCB levels. Although PCBs have not been produced in the U.S. since the 1970s, these compounds degrade very slowly and take decades to be completely removed from the environment. Kansas data show no clear increasing or declining trends of mercury concentrations in fish.
Fish consumption advisories are formulated using EPA risk assessment methods. Cancer risk assessment is a method to determine the added increase in cancer levels in a human population if fish in the advisory areas are consumed regularly (one 8-ounce serving per week) over a 70-year period. Assessments that estimate the increased risk of cancer as greater than one in 100,000 persons are regarded as unacceptably high. Risk assessments for contaminants assessed as non-carcinogens (mercury, lead, cadmium) are based on 8-ounce serving size for adults and 4-ounce serving size for children nine to eighteen years of age. For further technical information please visit: http://water.epa.gov/scitech/swguidance/fishshellfish/techguidance/index.cfm
Waterbody specific advisories
Kansas recommends not eating specified fish or aquatic life from the following locations:
Kansas recommends restricting consumption of any species of fish from the following locations:
General advice for eating locally caught fish in Kansas
Mercury in Kansas: monitoring efforts and results.
Since 2004, KDHE and KDWP have been collecting additional fish tissue samples from both lakes and streams to evaluate mercury levels in Kansas fish. KDHE monitors the listed advisory sites, a number of large river sites, and randomly selected stream and river sites throughout the state each year. KDWP also collects samples from the 17 largest and most heavily fished/harvested reservoirs every other year and from a number of randomly selected smaller public fishing lakes each year.
Kansas has decided to include new precautionary statements in this press release regarding mercury because monitoring results from some randomly selected streams and lakes exceed KDHE's one meal per week threshold. Advisories are normally based on 3 year (6 sample) averages and examination of longer term trends. However; randomly selected stream and lake sites are sampled only once unless randomly selected again and are used to interpret mercury levels geographically instead of on a site-by-site basis. Follow-up studies are being conducted and will be conducted at locations where preliminary data indicates the occurrence of unusually high concentrations of mercury in fish. It should be recognized that eating fish is considered an integral part of a healthy and balanced diet. Concerned consumers should educate themselves by seeking further information about the health benefits and risks of eating fish.
Details of monitoring efforts and protocols may be found in the Fish Tissue Contaminant Monitoring Program Quality Assurance Monitoring Plan on the KDHE website at: www.kdheks.gov/environment/qmp/download/Fish_Tissue_Part_III.pdf
Information on the Kansas Fish Tissue Contaminant Monitoring Program can be found at: www.kdheks.gov/befs/fish_tissue_monitoring.htm . Advisories are also posted on the KDWP website at: http://kdwp.state.ks.us/news/Fishing/Are-My-Fish-Safe-To-Eat
For further information about mercury in fish, national advisories, and advisories in other states please visit the EPA website at: www.epa.gov/mercury/advisories.htm