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Should I eat the fish I catch? : a guide to healthy eating of the fish you catch
  • Published Date:
    September 1997
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-156.85 KB]

  • Corporate Authors:
    United States. Environmental Protection Agency. Office of Water. Fish Contamination Program. ; United States. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. ;
  • Description:
    Fish are an important part of a healthy diet. They are a lean, low-calorie source of protein. Some sport fish caught in the nation’s lakes, rivers, oceans, and estuaries, however, may contain chemicals that could pose health risks if these fish are eaten in large amounts.

    The purpose of this brochure is not to discourage you from eating fish. It is intended as a guide to help you select and prepare fish that are low in chemical pollutants. By following these recommendations, you and your family can continue to enjoy the benefits of eating fish.

    Fish taken from polluted waters might be hazardous to your health. Eating fish containing chemical pollutants may cause birth defects, liver damage, cancer, and other serious health problems.

    Chemical pollutants in water come from many sources. They come from factories and sewage treatment plants that you can easily see. They also come from sources that you can’t easily see, like chemical spills or runoff from city streets and farm fields. Pollutants are also carried long distances in the air.

    Fish may be exposed to chemical pollutants in the water, and the food they eat. They may take up some of the pollutants into their bodies. The pollutants are found in the skin, fat, internal organs, and sometimes muscle tissue of the fish.

    EPA 823-B-97-009

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