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Re: E-M:/ Sierra Club Serves Toxic Fish to Demonstrate Great Lakes Pol

Enviro-Mich message from "David Zaber" <dzaber@chorus.net>


Thought this 1998 study may be of interest to you.  I found this sentence
from the abstract to be of particular interest:

"Frequent consumers of sport fish proved to be effective sentinels for
identifying sport fish contaminants of concern."

Up to this point, we have been interested in indicators of ecological
hazards for humans and the environment.  Now, it looks like we humans
(particularly those consuming sport fish) have become the indicators of
environmental quality.

David J. Zaber

Profiles of Great Lakes Critical Pollutants: A Sentinel Analysis of Human
Blood and Urine
Henry A. Anderson,1 Claire Falk,1 Larry Hanrahan,1 Joe Olson,1 Virlyn W.
Burse,2 Larry Needham,2 Daniel Paschal,2 Donald Patterson, Jr,2 Robert H.
Hill, Jr,2 and The Great Lakes Consortium

1Wisconsin Division of Health, Bureau of Public Health, Madison, WI 53703
2Division of Environmental Health Laboratory Sciences, National Center for
Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta,
GA 30341 USA

To determine the contaminants that should be studied further in the
subsequent population-based study, a profile of Great Lakes (GL) sport fish
contaminant residues were studied in human blood and urine specimens from 32
sport fish consumers from three Great Lakes: Lake Michigan (n =10), Lake
Huron (n = 11), and Lake Erie (n = 11). Serum was analyzed for 8
polychlorinated dioxin congeners, 10 polychlorinated furan congeners, 4
coplanar and 32 other polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners, and 11
persistent chlorinated pesticides. Whole blood was analyzed for mercury and
lead. Urine samples were analyzed for 10 nonpersistent pesticides (or their
metabolites) and 5 metals. One individual was excluded from statistical
analysis because of an unusual exposure to selected analytes. Overall, the
sample (n = 31) consumed, on average, 49 GL sport fish meals per year for a
mean of 33 years. On average, the general population in the GL basin consume
6 meals of GL sport fish per year. The mean tissue levels of most
persistent, bioaccumulative compounds also found in GL sport fish ranged
from less than a twofold increase to that of PCB 126, which was eight times
the selected background levels found in the general population. The overall
mean total toxic equivalent for dioxins, furans, and coplanar PCBs were
greater than selected background levels in the general population (dioxins,
1.8 times; furans, 2.4 times; and coplanar PCBs, 9.6 times). The
nonpersistent pesticides and most metals were not identified in unusual
concentrations. A contaminant pattern among lake subgroups was evident. Lake
Erie sport fish consumers had consistently lower contaminant concentrations
than consumers of sport fish from Lakes Michigan and Huron. These interlake
differences are consistent with contaminant patterns seen in sport fish
tissue from the respective lakes; GL sport fish consumption was the most
likely explanation for observed contaminant levels among this sample.
Frequent consumers of sport fish proved to be effective sentinels for
identifying sport fish contaminants of concern. In the larger study to
follow, serum samples will be tested for PCBs (congener specific and
coplanar), DDE, dioxin, and furans. Key words: dioxin, fish consumption,
furan, Great Lakes, metals, organochlorines, pesticides, polychlorinated
biphenyls, serum, urine, whole blood. Environ Health Perspect 106:279-289
(1998). [Online 7 April 1998]


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