Carp and largemouth bass from Chartiers Creek in Allegheny and Washington counties, and channel catfish in Pool 4 of the Monongahela River in Fayette and Washington counties are now OK to eat, albeit in limited quantities, according to the new Pennsylvania fish consumption advisory.
But don't fry up any PCB-contaminated channel catfish caught in the Mahoning River in Lawrence County.
Statewide, the 2010 advisory issued yesterday adds two new fish species and a waterway that were not on last year's list while relaxing or lifting "do not eat" advisories on consumption of specific fish species from seven creeks, rivers and lakes.
The Chartiers Creek and Monongahela River advisories were in place due to contamination from chlordane, a pesticide widely used to prevent termite infestation and on corn, citrus crops, lawns and gardens from 1948 to 1988, when it was banned because of environmental and health concerns, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The pesticide can remain in the soil for 20 years or more.
According to the EPA, chlordane is a probable human carcinogen and can also affect the liver, kidney, thyroid and the nervous and respiratory systems.
PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, are carcinogens that were manufactured in the U.S. from 1929 until they were banned in 1979, and used in a wide range of industrial and commercial electrical equipment, according to the EPA.
The advisory continues the state's long-standing recommendation to limit consumption of any sport fish caught anywhere in Pennsylvania to one meal per week. One meal is considered to be one-half pound of fish for a 150-pound person and the advisory is designed to keep women of childbearing age and young children from eating too much fish that has not been tested or that contain unspecified contaminants.
The advisories do not apply to fish raised for commercial purposes or purchased in stores or restaurants.
More information the advisories is available online at www.depweb.state.pa.us.
Don Hopey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1983.