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Fish consumption advisory issued for selenium

US - Selenium has been added to West Virginia's list of fish consumption advisories because of health concerns.

The new selenium advisory applies to Mount Storm Lake in Grant County, Upper Mud Lake in Lincoln County and Pinnacle Creek in Wyoming County. It recommends that residents eat no more than one meal per month of any sport fish caught from these waterways because of selenium pollution.

Selenium is a naturally occurring mineral found in many rocks and soils. In small amounts, it is essential for good health in humans. But in greater amounts it can be highly toxic to humans, causing such problems as hair loss and neurological damage such as numbness in the extremities.

Elevated concentrations of selenium have been found downstream of large surface mines and in some discharges from underground mines. Elevated concentrations also have been found below flyash disposal areas, the state Department of Environmental Protection has said.

The selenium advisory is one of several changes to the state's fish consumption list that were announced Wednesday by the state Bureau of Public Health.

"We just wanted to be sure we communicated the presence of this additional problem so consumers can make informed decisions,'' said Bill Toomey, project manager at the bureau.

Source: Charleston Daily Mail