For Immediate Release
January 5, 2012

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461

KDHE Issues Revised Fish Consumption Advisories

TOPEKA, Kan. —  The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), in conjunction with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT), has issued revised fish consumption advisories for 2012. The advisories identify types of fish or other aquatic animals that should be eaten in limited quantities or, in some cases, avoided altogether because of contamination.

Fish consumption advisories are formulated using Environmental Protection Agency (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 sizes for adults and 4-ounce serving sizes for children nine to 18 years old. For further technical information, go online to http://water.epa.gov/scitech/swguidance/fishshellfish/techguidance/

Water body-specific advisories

KDHE provides the following guidelines:

The state recommends restricting consumption of any species of fish from the following locations:

General advice for eating locally caught fish in Kansas

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 KDWPT website at kdwpt.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, go to the EPA website at www.epa.gov/mercury/advisories.htm.