Monday, August 24, 2009

New gov't study shows mercury in fish widespread

WASHINGTON - No fish can escape mercury pollution. That's the take-home message from a federal study of mercury contamination released Wednesday that tested fish from nearly 300 streams across the country. The toxic substance was found in every fish sampled, a finding that underscores how widespread mercury pollution has become.

Some of the highest levels in fish were detected in the remote blackwater streams along the coasts of the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida and Louisiana, where bacteria in surrounding forests and wetlands help in the conversion. The second-highest concentration of mercury was detected in largemouth bass from the North Fork of the Edisto River near Fairview Crossroads, S.C.
Link to full article:

Matt's Rant: This is a problem that is going to get far worse than it is going to get better. The fact that every fish they sampled had some level of mercury means that most of the fish you catch in the United States will be tainted to some degree. (The more I grasp Biology at the microscopic level - the more frightened I become.)

Humans react differently to toxic poisoning and it doesn't make me feel any better when they stated; "Only about one quarter of the fish tested had mercury levels above what the EPA considers safe for human consumption." That means 1 in 4 fish could seriously mess you up if you ate it. And it would take a while for this to affect you. “Only a quarter of the fish…” Was that supposed to make me feel better or just dull my paranoia into an apathetic stupor?

What this test didn’t factor in is the pharmaceuticals. If you catch fish downstream from a sewer treatment plant, guess what? Those fish will be loaded with trace amounts of everything from Vitamin A to Viagra. That stuff could really mess you up too.

The point I am trying to make here is that the planet is changing from human impact. Global warming “aint got szchit” compared to the amount of pollution, parking lots and pure punishment we “people” dish out day after day. As the planet changes people will have to change too. One way or the other a course correction has to be made. At the very least you should be concerned about what you eat and where it comes from regardless of whether you bought it at the store or pulled it from the water.

They mention some of the most heavily affected areas as Georgia, Florida and Louisiana. Many will argue the method, timing and testing procedures done across the board (let’s face it, the detailed studies area is a bit "tiny"). Regardless of debate, every study comes back with more of the same: water is polluted – fish are tainted to some degree. My bet is that major Denver-area reservoirs are rated “above EPA regulations-but some traces have been found”. Hence the state warnings.

For more information check out the survey results at the link below. I wish someone had told me they were doing a survey. I could have caught them some fish!

Good luck and Good Fishing!

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