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E-M:/ some progress on fish advisories and kids' health

Enviro-Mich message from davemec@voyager.net (dave dempsey)

The Michigan Environmental Science Board is scheduled to announce tomorrow
its blessing for a plan by the Michigan Department of Community Health to
issue stronger health advice for women of child-bearing age and kids about
sportfish consumption.  This comes a year after the Department refused to
join a Great Lakes regional consensus on tightening the advice, based on
accumulating research showing children of families who consume large
amounts of sportfish are at risk of IQ deficits and other developmental
abnormalities.  But the state is reversing course because of public
indignation and the U.S. EPA's unprecedented decision to issue its own
advisory for Michigan citizens last year.  The health of thousands of
Michigan children will benefit.

The plan would require two sets of advice, a protective one aimed at women
of child-bearing age and their offspring, and a less protective advisory
for the rest of the population.  One problem with the plan is that it fails
to provide full protection for the second group.

And this right-to-know victory is also tempered somewhat by the
Department's apparent plan to issue the advice principally in a brochure
separate from the fishing guide distributed to anglers when they purchase
licenses.  Although the brochure can be helpful because it will be provided
to doctors and children's nutrition clinics, the apparent decision not to
include the detailed advice in the fishing guide may blunt the health

Dave Dempsey
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette, Suite 2A
Lansing, MI  48912
(517) 487-9539
(517) 487-9541 (fax)

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