DEP Says Few Fish Eaters Means Little Mercury Risk

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Charleston, W.Va. (AP) -- West Virginia allows more mercury in fish than the federal government recommends, but environmental regulators say that's OK.

West Virginians eat less fish than the national average, so the Department of Environmental Protection figures they're at less risk.

Mike Arcuri of the water quality standards program says the more fish people eat, the stricter mercury limits must be.

But if people eat less, concentrations of mercury in fish tissue can be higher.

At high levels, mercury can damage the brain and other vital organs.

The Federal Clean Water Act recommends mercury not exceed 0.3 micrograms per gram of fish tissue.

West Virginia allows 0.5 micrograms.

Some residents say they might eat more fish if they were confident it was safe.

(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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  • by aknar Location: mtta on May 19, 2009 at 03:10 PM
    So lets get this right. Since I eat less fish out of local rivers I can now eat more because my body isnt as polluted as people who ate more...Who comes up with this logic.
  • by duh on May 19, 2009 at 01:40 PM
    Maybe we'd eat more fish if it weren't loaded with mercury and toxic waste from all these plants! So, WV doesn't consider the effects of those higher mercury levels dangerous for the children and elderly who's bodies can't tolerate the higher amounts? Sounds like a bunch of idiots running things at the EPA. Perhaps they should hire some of these new college grads who have studied the long term effects of these substances to determine safe levels. Just saying we have learned so much, but everyone wants to stick with same old logic.
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