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Risk assessment of consumption of mercury, PCBS, and chlorinated pesticides from fish caught off the Imperial Beach Pier, San Diego, California
Finnegan, Brittany Agnes
Chowdhury, Zohirde Peyster, AnnDorman, Clive
x, 110 p. : ill.
A risk assessment was performed on intake of certain chemicals from the consumption of fish caught off the Imperial Beach Pier. Risk assessment is a necessary tool to understand possible adverse effects to human health caused by ingestion of fish in this region. Mercury, PCBs, and chlorinated pesticides are all persistent pollutants with the ability to bioaccumulate in aquatic organisms. Ten fish samples caught from fishermen on the Imperial Beach Pier were donated for laboratory analysis to assess the presence of these chemicals in fish tissue. In concert with that, 182 fishermen on the pier were surveyed about their fishing and consumption patterns. Values from the chemical analyses and surveys were used to estimate the risk posed by eating fish caught in the region. Surveys revealed fishermen who ingested catch were primarily Asian males over the age of 56. Each fish analyzed contained levels of mercury and 4,4'-DDE and three specimens showed detectable levels of PCBs. For mercury, the health hazard was insignificant for average consumption, yet posed a threat when high exposure values were used (hazard index = 6.8). DDE and PCBs levels revealed a less than de minimus cancer risk for average consumption, however the most exposed population modeled an excess risk of 14 persons out of a population of one million for DDE and 630 persons out of a population of one million for PCBs. High risk values are only applicable to a small high risk population of subsistence fishermen, and although only a marginal risk for human health exists, it may still be cause for concern for these few in the population.
Health and Human Services
San Diego State University
Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) San Diego State University, 2010
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