State warns of high dioxin levels in some Tittabawassee River Fish

Detroit Free Press

September 8, 2005, 8:42 PM

LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Carp, catfish and white bass in the Tittabawassee River contain high levels of dioxin and should not be eaten, the Michigan Department of Community Health said Thursday.

Women of childbearing age and children under the age of 15 years old are advised not to eat smallmouth bass from the Tittabawassee, but others can eat smallmouth bass once a week, the department said.

Walleye, which travel from Lake Huron through the Saginaw River to reach the Tittabawassee, contain some of the lowest dioxin levels. Women and children can safely eat one monthly meal of walleye under 22 inches and six annual meals of walleye over 22 inches. The general population can eat walleye less than 22 inches without restrictions, but should eat walleye over 22 inches only once a week.

All other fish in the Tittabawassee can be safely eaten at a rate of one meal per month for women and children, and one meal per week for the general population, the health department said.

The agency's Division of Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology and the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry estimated that the average consumer in the region consumed one meal of Tittabawassee River fish per month, while frequent consumption was estimated to be five to seven meals per month.

Dioxins, a group of chemicals created by incineration and chemical manufacturing, are linked to altered metabolism, hormonal changes and increases in diabetes and cancers.

The advisories are contained in a report called Tittabawassee River Fish Health Consultation. It is available on the health department's web page, or by calling the department toll-free at (800) 648-6942.


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2005 Detroit Free Press Inc.

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