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> Binbrook/Lake Niapenco fish contaminants, recommended eating amounts far too high
Flukes
Posted: Aug 25, 2022 - 09:24 pm


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For anyone who fishes and eats fish in this lake (or actually from any part of the watershed down stream of the Hamilton Int'l Airport), you may want to reconsider how much and if any fish you want to consume.
A 7 year study commissioned by Transport Canada (but only after a great deal of complaints about the PFAS/PFOS type "forever" chemicals used in training fire-fighters at the airport washing into the local watershed) has resulted in information showing that the current recommendations on eating fish from this (and almost certainly other similarly contaminated watersheds by these chemicals) water system is far too rosy. In fact, the results are showing that more or less no fish should ever be eaten by what they call the "sensitive" population and much lower amounts of fish should be eaten by the general population (some are amount not per week and not even per month but rather per year). I wouldn't eat any.
What is really frustrating is that they have this information but are not releasing widely and publicly to inform people who may fish and eat fish from that (and other similarly contaminated) watersheds. Even at Binbrook CA, they do not warn people about the results of this study. The only people who were made aware were ""Area Residents and Community Members" of only that watershed and they left it up to them to decide if they wanted to let "outsiders" know how badly contaminated this area is (I wonder how many would share this with potential buyers of their properties?). These results were also not shared with residents that live in areas that are likely similarly contaminated with PFAS/PFOS and so they continue to eat the local contaminated fish as well if they have farms with animals, those animals are likely drinking contaminated water.
Anyway, just wanted to provide a heads-up to anyone who actually fish that area (I don't but know that it was (and may still be) place where crappies are pretty plentiful so there are likely lots of people fishing in Niapenco) and can decide if you want to continue to eat the fish there. I'm going to try to post the PDF of the summary of the results of the study (hope it works).

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Flukes
Posted: Aug 25, 2022 - 09:26 pm


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and here are the new recommended eating amounts (in blue font) vs. the amounts that are currently shown on the fishing eating website (in black font)....and you can also search for that information yourself.
https://www.ontario.ca/page/eating-ontario-fish


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Longshank
Posted: Aug 26, 2022 - 10:50 am


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thanks for that info Flukes I don't fish there and now definatey wouldn't even bother to do so

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crappeeeman
Posted: Aug 26, 2022 - 12:40 pm


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Thank you Flukes. It's scary what is out there in our environment. Even scarier is what we don't know is out there in our environment. Even scarier than that is, they know what is out there in our envirnment but sometimes they don't tell us.

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reelinginthebigone
Posted: Aug 26, 2022 - 03:54 pm


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Lake Ontario is gross. The last time I ate anything from there was 30 years ago when I didn't know any better. The cities have absolutely demolished it.

The salmon removed for the contests are given to people in vans waiting for fish. Some of them claim it's for dogs, and they grind it up for dog food, but I'm sure some of it ends up on restaurant plates lol.

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Flukes
Posted: Aug 26, 2022 - 10:13 pm


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There are two things that bother me the most: 1) "they" know (using about a million+ dollars of tax payers money to pay for the study and the lab testing) but won't release that information to everyone that MAY fish there and eat fish from that watershed even though they know there is really more or less, no safe level for consumption (they should be putting up signs at these sites (esp. populato fishing spots like at a the reservoir at a conservation area) to increase the chances that people do not eat fish from those areas (not everyone know there is this fish eating guide available); 2) there are nearly a dozen other sites in Ontario that are likely similarly affected (but haven't been studied at this level because there isn't enough pressure from someone complaining about it) and the gov't is even less interested in making those areas known to people who are eating fish from those watersheds. I don't know what those sites are yet but if you look at the contaminant types in the eating guide (it would be the superscript numbers beside the species name), and there is a "6" (=PFAS/PFOS), I would not trust the published recommended "safe" level to eat. This maybe the easiest way to know if the waters you eat fish from may have PFAS/PFOS contaminant and well, you can decide how much you want to continue eating from those waters. I would stay away from any watersheds where there is an airport that train fire-fighters with PFAS/PFOS retardants...hmmm...well, that's not going to be easy because how would someone find out what they are using?? So, in the meantime, I am staying away from any watershed that drains from an airport (it's so much easier to find airports using something like GoogleEarth or just google the general area as well as the general area's watersheds - often you can find gov't maps showing watersheds).

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Glennie57
Posted: Aug 27, 2022 - 08:52 am


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Or perhaps, just don't eat fish from near-urban waters? Catch and release and all that....

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crappeeeman
Posted: Aug 27, 2022 - 01:01 pm


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QUOTE (reelinginthebigone @ Aug 26, 2022 - 03:54 pm)
Lake Ontario is gross. The last time I ate anything from there was 30 years ago when I didn't know any better. The cities have absolutely demolished it.

The salmon removed for the contests are given to people in vans waiting for fish. Some of them claim it's for dogs, and they grind it up for dog food, but I'm sure some of it ends up on restaurant plates lol.

I don't understand, what people waiting in vans. And what restaurant is serving this fish, and how are they serving it.

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Disco
Posted: Aug 27, 2022 - 01:07 pm


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QUOTE (reelinginthebigone @ Aug 26, 2022 - 03:54 pm)
Lake Ontario is gross. The last time I ate anything from there was 30 years ago when I didn't know any better. The cities have absolutely demolished it.

The salmon removed for the contests are given to people in vans waiting for fish. Some of them claim it's for dogs, and they grind it up for dog food, but I'm sure some of it ends up on restaurant plates lol.

If you think itís large cities that polluted Lake Ontario think again.

Close to 90% of current contamination going into Lake Ontario is leaching from 100 year old+ dump sites and was dumped over 150 years ago directly into the Great Lakes. These sites are from industry long before our current mega cities and population booms. I lived with a very top level Environmental planner for 5 years. What I learned was scary. I read all the documents and studies. Most of the bulk of our pollution issues we inherited and are not creating. The only good news is Lake Ontario is much cleaner than is was in the late 70ís and early 80ís.
The best example of this is Lake Erie which was declared a dead lake in the 60ís. Clean up efforts now have the lake with a thriving healthy commercial fishery.

Read about our northern lakes some time and the natural occurring mercury which Ontario has in spades. People eat fish from northern lakes thinking they are ďcleanerĒ when often they are more dangerous for consumption.

Read this article from 1985Ö.

https://archive.macleans.ca/article/1985/8/...ing-great-lakes

https://michiganintheworld.history.lsa.umic...lakes-pollution

https://thenarwhal.ca/lake-ontario-aquatic-...lob-steel-mill/

https://niagaraatlarge.com/2013/03/26/the-l...at-lakes-again/






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crappeeeman
Posted: Aug 27, 2022 - 01:36 pm


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Thank you for posting that Disco. Like we talking about the other day on a similar thread. Pollution started over 200 years ago on the great lakes. Pollution kills fish and affects the quality of the fish. And we eat the fish. It's never to late to clean this country up.

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Longshank
Posted: Aug 27, 2022 - 02:42 pm


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Thanks for providing that info Disco

I eat fish from both lake O and Erie and don't think twice about it. i think a lot of people forget that these 2 water bodies flush out completly more or less every 2 years for Erie and 5 for Lake O.

The guide also constantly refers to "based on a lifetime of consumption"

as pointed out there are many northern lakes i would be far more hesitant to consume fish from


But to each their own, just make an informed decision , not on "I hears that"


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MarkDv
Posted: Aug 27, 2022 - 08:49 pm


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Longshank, with all my respect and thanks to you I donít know where did you get this info from.
QUOTE
The guide also constantly refers to "based on a lifetime of consumption"

I may miss it out but I never saw this note anywhere.

Here is an article about PCB fish contamination.
https://sci-hub.se/10.1177/074823370001600708
My understanding is that PCBs are more dangerous than mercury or lead and other heavy metals because those metals could be, with some more or less effort, removed from the body but apparently, as it follows from everything I have read, PCBs cannot.
This is a quite large article, I don't think many of you will be able to read it whole or even partially.
Itís not fresh, from 2000, but it seems no more such analyses were done after that. At least I couldn't find much.
I did some readingÖ
The bottom lineÖ PCBs almost without doubt are very harmful for children, the younger the worse. Pregnant women - is the worst.
For the older population, as many of us are, it seems not to be really importantÖ As it follows from the research, among older fish eaters PCBs level in serum (blood) is definitely higher but it unlikely has a significant affect on health.
From other sources I know that farm fish have much higher contamination levels compared to the wild. And I donít think we can buy any wild fish in the stores now.
I have a lot of doubts and questions about the Eating Ontario Fish Guide.
It's a long and unlikely fruitful discussion but many things from the Guide do not make sense to me. However we donít have anything better than that.
So, I think that following the Guide is really wise thing to do. And those with young children and/or pregnant women should be very careful.

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Flukes
Posted: Aug 27, 2022 - 09:59 pm


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What Disco, CM and LS have added are correct..but to a point. A great deal of contaminants were dumped into the great lakes before most of us were born with no thought about the future gens. There are also lots of natural Hg (mercury) in our waters (nothing you can do about that of course but acid rain as well as damming up water ways to make reservoirs (in the cheapest way possible), etc. has made it worse as leaching the natural Hg increased as well). Although many of the chemicals we "watch out" for today were dumped back then and can be natural, there are even more chemicals being produced today that we have little to no information on because many are produced overseas (as we shipped our dirty industries overseas to take advantage of cheap labour and often times no environmental protection (cleaned up our great lakes alot at the same time) ....so companies can save money and make even more profits). The problem with this is that it's not out of my backyards anymore because those products with dangerous chemicals are shipped back here to sell to us and dumped in our landfills or incinerated after they are used. The nasty chemicals in them are leaching out back into our homeland (air and water depending on how they are disposed of) here where there is little research going on (until fairly recently) because we weren't producing those chemicals here so no one was doing much research on them and what was going on with those chemicals here. As a very clear case in point, a few years ago, there was a scientific paper on the killer whales (the highest trophic level predator you can get) off the west coast of Canada that were considered one of the most contaminated mammals in the world and were called the "fire-proof" killer whales (just do a google search on that and you will see it pop up) because they had huge loads of fire-retardant chemicals in them. Those chemicals mostly came from overseas manufactured products (in almost all of our products) whether you wanted them or not - they just don't tell you they are added. Supposedly to reduce fire hazards yet our firefighters do not want those chemicals in our sofas, mattresses and other things we use at home because of the harmful smoke that comes off of them when they have to go and try to put out fires - our firefighters are harmed in a worse way from the chemicals in the fumes than the fires. They know how to handle fires but now they have to face fires with toxic chemicals, which actually makes it harder and more dangerous for them to fight fires (they have to carry and wear heavy equipment to filter out the toxic fumes which can also reduce their vision, etc.).
SO, the chemical dump into our waters has not stopped - just changed in how it gets dumped.
Urban vs. remote places. It's not easy to figure out where and what you can eat just by location alone. Some of it is natural Hg (and maybe even arsenic). Some urban areas are actually quite clean for eating fish while some waters, which look like they should be pristine, much lower amount of fish are recommended for "safe" eating (and in some cases zero) - the clearness/weediness is not a good way to determine if a lake is "clean" (for fish consumption at least).
Water flushing out. That water turnover rate maybe true but the problem is many chemicals do not get flushed out anywhere as quickly as the water because they are not only waterborne but quickly get taken up by the ecosystem in the wildlife and sediments where they can be consumed up by things like crayfish, aquatic insects, and then eaten by SM bass or rock bass, etc....it's a reason why sm bass and rock bass often have much lower recommended eating amounts than lm bass, northern pike (surprisingly), etc. (and there are other reasons like the oiliness of species which can accumulate some chemicals more than species that are not full of oil...hence lakers are often a problem as well). Different contaminants will have different longevity in an ecosystem - it's complicated (as all things biology). At some point, it will all end up in the ocean as that is the way things from the land/lakes flow. But we will pump more into our lakes/rivers, etc. so things will/should change with the eating guidelines.
The one thing I had thought was great in Ontario (compared to most places on the planet, including all the saltwater fish we buy and eat - more or less not testing at all) was that our gov't keeps an eye on the fish with regular testing and if anyone sends them samples, they will test and if anyone raises an issue, they will test as well. But my main disappointment is that they now know about how serious the issues is with PFAS/PFOS in the watershed where the Hamilton Airport affects and they are not making that information public...the question is WHY? These are some pretty nasty chemicals and clearly they are recommending a much reduced amount of fish to be eaten (some to zero) but they are not updating that information and not warning the public at these sites but only land owners in that area).
I was also just sent some more information about likely affected areas in North Bay, Thunder Bay and Nottawasaga (yep, the Notty - people should get a bit more upset with that one but I don't fish it so don't know the details and exact areas for sure since alot of people fish for salmon and trout, some nice fatty fish that can accumulate PFOS/PFAS readily - just hope the fish that come into the rivers are not affected as much since they don't spend that much time feeding in the rivers but these chemicals will get out into GBay)...I will post in their respective boards to warn people (there is much more information on those posts) - the problem is that there are no similar study as the Hamilton Airport study for these sites so you are left to figure out how much you may have to reduce your consumption based on the reduced recommended values for the Hamilton Airport area (maybe by a percentage? And most of the species studied in the Hamilton Airport study are not fatty fish so should be less affected than salmonids, but clearly they are still greatly affected).
Yes, in the end, it really is up to whoever decides to use that information and decide for themselves what they want to eat (since they've been warned...kind of) and I have no problems with that. I have a problem when that information exists (and has existed for a few years now) because of tax money but not being made publicly available in the only source tax payers have (the gov't's fish eating guide website, which is often down by the way) so people think the fish are much safer to eat than they really are...and the difference is not just by a little bit (we would expect as the years pass by and things change), it is a huge amount from safe number of meals to eat per week to per month and to even per year (basically, I take it as "don't eat any")...and esp. for anyone who is of the sensitive population (kids and women or child-bearing age). LS is correct that the recommendations is based on life-time of consumption (and that's good) but we need to remember they got this chemical wrong in their calculations (by a long shot as they are not recommending much less fro safe consumption - but not telling the general public), the calculations are based on someone's modelling of the contaminants in an "average" human's consumption (a model and there is a saying with models, "all models are wrong but some can be useful") so it can be overly careful or overly not careful as well, and in the guide (in the sections that kind of tells you how to use the guide's information), it also mention things like, the information changes if you are also consuming store-bought fish (fresh or canned) and things go right out the window completely if you are a regular eater of things like sharks, swordfish, tuna, etc.
If you are an old fart like myself, you probably have less to worry about now with regards to eating fish in most areas (since you can't change what you have accumulated already over the many years and you don't have as many years le to accumulate these chemicals to levels that are problematic) but there are many who can change their eating amounts of fish to not get affected. They should be given the most updated information so they can make an informed decision and then they can decide how much to eat (if at all).
In general, try to eat fish from cleaner water bodies, eat fish species that tend to accumulate less contaminants, eat the little ones and let the big ones go - it's also better for your waters' brood stock to populate them with more little fish to eat. Learn to fillet little fish (or eat them whole if filleting is hard) I guess. All a bit depressing but with more eyes and mouths, hopefully, not many more lakes will get affected with these (or other) chemicals.



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crappeeeman
Posted: Aug 29, 2022 - 12:55 am


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QUOTE (Longshank @ Aug 27, 2022 - 02:42 pm)
Thanks for providing that info Disco

I eat fish from both lake O and Erie and don't think twice about it.


But to each their own, just make an informed decision , not on "I hears that"

Oh ya, we eat all the fish I catch. If I was worried about what's in the fish, then I should be worried about what's in most of the food I eat. We will never fix the pollution problem but we could try a bit harder.

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Disco
Posted: Aug 29, 2022 - 09:14 am


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QUOTE (MarkDv @ Aug 27, 2022 - 08:49 pm)
Longshank, with all my respect and thanks to you I donít know where did you get this info from.
QUOTE
The guide also constantly refers to "based on a lifetime of consumption"

I may miss it out but I never saw this note anywhere.

Here is an article about PCB fish contamination.
https://sci-hub.se/10.1177/074823370001600708
My understanding is that PCBs are more dangerous than mercury or lead and other heavy metals because those metals could be, with some more or less effort, removed from the body but apparently, as it follows from everything I have read, PCBs cannot.
This is a quite large article, I don't think many of you will be able to read it whole or even partially.
Itís not fresh, from 2000, but it seems no more such analyses were done after that. At least I couldn't find much.
I did some readingÖ
The bottom lineÖ PCBs almost without doubt are very harmful for children, the younger the worse. Pregnant women - is the worst.
For the older population, as many of us are, it seems not to be really importantÖ As it follows from the research, among older fish eaters PCBs level in serum (blood) is definitely higher but it unlikely has a significant affect on health.
From other sources I know that farm fish have much higher contamination levels compared to the wild. And I donít think we can buy any wild fish in the stores now.
I have a lot of doubts and questions about the Eating Ontario Fish Guide.
It's a long and unlikely fruitful discussion but many things from the Guide do not make sense to me. However we donít have anything better than that.
So, I think that following the Guide is really wise thing to do. And those with young children and/or pregnant women should be very careful.

I would like to make one small correction to your statement regarding Mercury.

Mercury is one of, if not the only toxin you can not minimize when cleaning your fish. Mercury is deposited in muscle tissue at the same rate as fat tissue.
Most toxins concentrate in fat tissues. A large majority of fat tissue can be removed when cleaning fatty tissue fish such as salmonoids.

Mercury is a much worse issue in Northen Ontario lakes where people assume itís safe to each fish from than it is in Lake Ontario.

https://www.cbc.ca/amp/1.5904772


PCBís are directly deposited into the fat of Salmonoids.


From the Ontario government web site for what itís worth.
ď The levels of mercury in the muscle tissue of salmon are very low. Separate studies have identified other chemicals, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), in the fat of both wild-caught and farmed salmon. These chemicals can be found in most fish and in many other foods, but at low levels that do not cause concern for human health.Ē

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