Tuesday, March 10, 2009

KDHE Fish Consumption Advisories - 2009 Update

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) recently issued revised fish consumption advisories for 2009. The advisories identify species of fish that should be eaten in limited quantities or, in some cases, avoided altogether because of contamination found in tested fish.

The advisories include guidelines for

  • mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in fish,
  • perchlorate in fish and other aquatic life, and
  • lead and cadmium in shellfish.

According to KDHE, data from most Kansas long-term monitoring sites show a decrease in PCB levels and no trend in mercury concentrations.

The two agencies recommend not eating specified fish or aquatic life from a number of specific lakes and rivers. Kansas counties with current fish consumption advisories include Cherokee, Douglas, Johnson, Leavenworth, Reno, Sedgwick, and Sumner.

Average mercury concentrations in Kansas fishes are lower than nationwide averages. KDHE protocol uses the average tissue mercury level when conducting water body specific risk assessments. However, when considering the condition of the water bodies as a whole, the median concentration may be a better indicator of central tendency and is somewhat lower than the average.

Caltha LLP provides expert consulting services to public and private sector clients nationwide to address water quality standards, wastewater permitting and assessing potential impacts of chemicals in the aquatic environment.

Caltha LLP Aquatic Toxicology / WQ Standards Services Website