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State Warns About Mercury Levels in Local Fish

by Ellen Hardy
18 April 2008, at 1:00am

US - State scientists are recommending that children and women who are pregnant or breast-feeding avoid eating bass and sturgeon caught in the Sacramento River and upper Delta because of mercury contamination.

This warning is the latest in a series of advisories issued over the years for fish that can accumulate mercury washed from long- abandoned gold mines.

This time, however, researchers did more than just examine fish tissue. They checked the other end of the fishing lines – the anglers.

Many of them were bagging species not usually included in fish consumption reports: pikeminnow, hitch, sucker, carp, goldfish and Asiatic clams. Researchers previously had targeted more popular game fish such as striped bass, sturgeon, trout and salmon.

"We didn't realize we were speaking in different tongues," Robert Brodberg, a toxicologist in the state Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, which issued a draft of the eating guide earlier this week.

Source: Sacbee

Ellen Hardy