Info

2 months

Greater than 2 ppm

Do not eat

Source: Great Lakes Sport Fish Advisory Task Force, 1993.

most recent risk-based levels developed to protect human health by coastal and Great Lakes states.

Even below the Federal Dam at Troy, PCB levels in fish are up to five times the Great Lakes criterion for no consumption. The closure of the stripedbass fishery in the Lower Hudson River due to PCB contamination has resulted in a significant economic impact. Since the consumption advisory program in NewYork State is linked to the licensing program for recreational fishing, advisories are only provided in non-tidal waters above the Federal Dam where licenses are required. Some local residents have probably consumed enough Hudson River fish to affect their health. Possible effects, however, have not yet been quantified in any comprehensive epidemiological studies.

Effects on fish and wildlife. PCBs are persistent bio-accumulating compounds that cause a wide range of biological dysfunction in exposed biota. A substantial body of literature describes the results of laboratory and field investigations on the consequences of PCB exposure to a variety of animals (invertebrates, fish, reptiles, birds, and mammals - Eisler, 2000; Giesy et al., 1994a,b; Safe, 1994;Elliot, Norstrom, and Smith, 1996;Monosson, 2000). Some of the more common effects seen after animals have been exposed to PCBs include reproductive dysfunction (including feminization of males), impaired development, reduced growth, immunotoxicity, induction of histological changes, and alterations in biochemical processes, including induction of enzyme synthesis as well as inhibition of enzyme activities.

A substantial issue to be considered in the Hudson River decision-making process is whether current exposures ofanimals to PCBs pose ecological risks. The most recent data show that many species sampled in and adjacent to the Upper Hudson River continue to have substantial body burdens of PCBs (NOAA, 2001). The most comprehensive Hudson River PCB data set, compiled by the NewYork State Department of Environmental Conservation (New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, 2001b), is for fish, with the majority of the analyses conducted on fish fillets. Concentrations in fillets are relevant to human fish consumption, but they may underestimate those in whole fish bodies, which tend to be consumed almost entirely by fish and wildlife predators.

For several species in the Upper Hudson (Table 24.2), average fillet PCB concentrations range

Table 24.2. Comparing PCB levels in Upper Hudson River fish to those from other coastal waters

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