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Old 04-30-2007, 08:47 AM
tnwalker tnwalker is offline
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 13
Default Mercury contamination

I live in upper east Tennessee. There are several lakes in the TVA chain near here. Last week the Tennessee dept. of environment(I think) issued a warning not to eat fish from three bodies of water. These are Watauga and South Holston lakes and the Holston river. The fish mentioned are Large and Smallmouth Bass and Channel Catfish. This warning is due to mercury contamination. There were already consumtion restrictions on Boone lake due to PCB's and chlordane contamination. This applied to catfish and carp only. Watauga and South Holston lakes were considered to be some of the cleanest, most pristine lakes in the southeast. Very seldom do I eat fish I catch, but this really bothers me. It's as if we're literally destroying the planet under our feet. Are lakes in other states also contaminated?
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Old 04-30-2007, 10:05 AM
JoeSixpack's Avatar
JoeSixpack JoeSixpack is offline
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: JP
Posts: 436
Default Re: Mercury contamination

It's going around. There has been a recommendation up here to avoid the top of the food chain for years. Both for fresh and salt water.

Whether it be Tuna, swordfish, or even the large/small mouth. The mercury levels rise from the ingestion of lower food chain forage until it is highest at the top.

But it may be getting better to some degree.

Here is a Boston Globe article, from 2006.


Mercury down 32% in fish near Mass. incinerators
Progress tied to emissions laws
By Beth Daley, Globe Staff | April 3, 2006

Seven years after Massachusetts enacted the nation's toughest mercury emission laws for incinerators, amounts of the toxic metal have declined by 32 percent in a signature freshwater fish caught near some of those facilities.

A significant amount of the state's inland fish remain unsafe for a large portion of the population, but state officials and environmental advocates say they are stunned by the dramatic turnaround in yellow perch from lakes near a cluster of incinerators in the northeast corner of the state.

State officials now estimate the improvement in yellow perch is about half of that needed to make the fish safe to eat. And good news for perch -- used as an indicator species because it accumulates high levels of mercury -- also means good news for other lake fish across Massachusetts.

However, state officials said much more needs to be done. They could not estimate when it will be OK to lift a strict warning for women of childbearing age and children about eating fish from the state's lakes and streams.

''We weren't expecting to see such drastic reductions in such a short time frame," said Arleen O'Donnell, deputy commissioner for the state Department of Environmental Protection. ''This is really significant because this is a cumulative toxin -- the thought was it took a long time to get this high in the environment and it was going to take a long time to reverse it."
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