People who like to wet a line at the Lafayette Reservoir were advised not to eat their catch – regularly – after four types of locally sourced fish were found to contain mercury or polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), both of which can pose serious health risks for humans.
The advisory, issued by the state’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, was directed at people who consume rainbow trout, channel catfish, goldfish and black bass caught at the reservoir.
Suggested guidelines for consumption:
Women from 18 to 45 years old and children from one to 17 years old may eat five servings per week of rainbow trout or three servings per week of channel catfish or one serving of black bass species.
Both groups should avoid eating goldfish, according to
environmental health officials.
Women 46 years old and older and men 18 and older may eat seven servings per week of channel catfish or five servings per week of rainbow trout or two servings per week of goldfish or black bass species.
One serving is eight ounces before cooking the fish. Eight ounces of fish fillet is roughly the size and thickness of a person’s hand. Children should eat smaller amounts, health officials said.
Health experts said Mercury can be found naturally in the environment and has also been introduced through mining operations and the burning of coal. PCBs, a synthetic coolant once an everyday sight but banned in the U.S. since the 1970s, is a known carcinogen and has apparently found its way into the environment – most likely due to spills and improper disposal.