Mercury-contaminated fish pose health risk to Iowans


Jim Xiao, 36, of Cedar Rapids, and his father, Lao Xiao, caught this bucket of crappie in the tailwater below the Coralville Reservoir dam one morning - credit: IowaWatch.org

Mercury and other pollutants may make Iowa’s fish unsafe to eat.  And many Iowans aren’t being warned, reports IowaWatch.org today.

The state of Iowa is failing to warn people to cut back on eating locally caught fish contaminated with mercury and other pollutants at levels the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finds too risky, an IowaWatch study has found.

More than 330,000 people a year buy licenses to fish Iowa’s waters, and the contaminated fish many catch, eat and provide to their families and friends could pose serious health consequences, especially for children, women of child-bearing age, pregnant women and other vulnerable populations.

Southeast Asians and Hispanics dominate another high-risk group – people who make fish from the state’s rivers, streams and lakes a staple of their diet. But conservation officers say few people, especially minorities, know about the contaminated fish advisories state officials periodically issue. They are written only in English….

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