Fish Consumption Advisory for Lake Norman

NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 21, 2013                                                                                           704-878-5337 Office

Contact: Liz Crawford, Public Information Officer                             704-832-2396 Fax

Reminder: Fish Consumption Advisory for Lake Norman

As Lake Norman reaches its busiest time of year, the Iredell County Public Health Department would like to remind the public of the Fish Consumption Advisory for striped bass and largemouth bass in Lake Norman. This is a reminder notice from the advisory the NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) issued April 9, 2013.

Elevated levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were found in striped bass that exceeded the state’s safe level for PCBs. Because previous studies have shown that largemouth bass in all waters of North Carolina have elevated levels of mercury, this advisory for Lake Norman includes largemouth bass as well as striped bass.

Because of the health risks involved, the North Carolina Division of Public Health is recommending that the following people should not eat any striped bass or largemouth bass from Lake Norman:

  • Pregnant women
  • Women who may become pregnant
  • Breastfeeding women
  • Children under age 15

Also, other people should not eat more than two meals a month of largemouth bass and one meal a week of striped bass. A meal of fish is considered approximately 6 ounces of uncooked fish.

PCBs may adversely impact the neurological development of children, the reproductive system, the immune system, and may cause cancer. Mercury presents an increased risk of adverse effects to the developing brain of unborn babies of pregnant women who eat fish contaminated with mercury. Young children may also be at risk of adverse neurological effects from eating fish contaminated with mercury.

The PCB and mercury contamination in fish does not present a known health risk for persons engaging in other recreational activities such as touching the water, wading, swimming, boating or handling the fish.

The Division of Public Health reiterates that the fish consumption advisory recommendation for Lake Norman is limited only to striped bass and largemouth bass.

For more information on health issues related to fish contaminants, visit DHHS Division of Public Health website: http://epi.publichealth.nc.gov/oee/programs/fish.html or call (919)707-5900.

Lake Norman Fish Advisory sign

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