By Craig Schill
Fish are part of a healthy, balanced diet and may help to reduce the risk of heart disease. Unfortunately, because of pollution, many fish in Lake Erie have built up high levels of harmful toxic pollutants. Some pollutants, like mercury, may harm the developing nervous system of infants and young children. Others, like PCBs, can affect internal organs, the immune system, and may even cause cancer. Many of these toxic substances may pass from the mother to an unborn child through the blood or to infants through breast milk.
Some fish have higher levels of contaminants than others. It is recommended that the consumption of sport fish caught in Lake Erie be limited to one, half-pound meal per week. However, some fish should be eaten less often than that and some are not safe to eat at all. By following the suggestions from the EPA, you will be able to obtain the benefits of eating fish while reducing the risk.
Individuals at risk include: