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> Binbrook/Lake Niapenco fish contaminants, recommended eating amounts far too high
Flukes
Posted: Aug 29, 2022 - 12:27 pm


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Hey folks,
Don't want to draw this out too much more because it is a very complicated topic and each major contaminant category has it's own complicated path through the ecosystem and into and through us as well. PCBs and mercury are very different contaminants and do different things to our health. Mercury is a heavy metal where as PCBs are not. There are plenty of cases of mercury and PCB issues in human (and animal) health and that is why there are concerns about these chemicals. For the most part (not 100%), males have no way to lose large amount of contaminants they pick up throughout their lives whereas females (of child-bearing age) will lose contaminants to their babies (and even more if they breast-feed and this is true espe with "fat-loving" chemicals that will build up in fatty materials in people, like the fats in milk) so their babies, esp. their first born will get a good dumping of contaminants as the mom "cleans" out her body this way (it's so sad to think about it but true). The reason for the young children having lower limits is to reduce the life-time accumulation of the contaminants because the more you have in your bodies, the more likely some health issue will show up when you reach that threshold (below, and you should be okay but I am sure there are individual differences as well to when health issues will show). The recommendations are based on the chemicals that are modeled over an average person's lifetime of consumption of that amount of fish of that specific species of that size, etc., etc. So if you take a break from eating fish for a few years, you can can consume more fish later on (within reason of course). Following the guide is a wise thing to do as we have no other information to follow and you can still be precautionary in how much you eat (and I would be even more careful with the sensitive population)...store bought for sure much less testing (probably too much lobby pressure from the fishing industry because it may reduce people's willingness to buy fish - esp. things like swordfish, sharks, tuna, etc - and that can be a huge economic hit to fisheries and farmed fish (I don't eat farmed fish for many, many reasons - I have seen too much of the industry and no way would I pay for it or eat it even if free - I'll take a "lowly" sunfish any day). Best is to eat fish with information so you can make an informed decision. Again, one of the main problems with the issue originally posted is that the gov't has some of this information about PFOS/PFAS (obtained using tax payers' money) and does not see the need to let everyone (except local land owners) know of the issues in the waters that have the issue (this location around the Hamilton Airport) or have not made it a priority to test the fish in other waters that are almost certainly experiencing the same problems but we are not being made aware of this - I posted the other areas in other boards (including North Bay, Thunder Bay, and Nottawasaga region). There are lots of people eating fish from these areas. It's fortunate for those fishing the Kawartha lakes (and Lake Simcoe) that there is no similar issue but how many of you would continue to eat the fish if there was a similar issue and the recommended eating limits went down to zero meals per month or near zero per year? And then what's worse is that gov't won't let you know of their findings for many years (and still not letting people know now). I'd be pretty upset that I have consumed a bunch of fish from these areas for many years before I found out and only after a bunch of pestering of the agencies involved to get that information only to be told that was enough that they had informed the local landowners. Anyway...some of the information is out there now in my posts so people can know and decide for themselves. For sure, its not going to affect older farts like myself as much as the next gen and the women having our gens but knowing, I would never eat any fish from these highly contaminated areas when there are so many other cleaner places to fish and eat fish from. But for those C&R fishers, those would be some great places to fish because fewer people would take fish out. Sorry, if there are any typos above.

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Longshank
Posted: Aug 29, 2022 - 01:04 pm


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QUOTE (MarkDv @ Aug 27, 2022 - 08:49 pm)
Longshank, with all my respect and thanks to you I don’t 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.
It’s 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 reading…
The bottom line… 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 important… 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 don’t 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 don’t 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.

It's there ...I carry an older copy on the boat and it's always been there


having said that.....make your own choices

my takeaway from everything Flukes and others have diligently provided is Moderation


you can clean fish, especially smaller ones and remove a lot of certain contaminents

also emphazize that our waters are some of the most heavily tested anywhere....that's a good thing

there aren't many food products that don't carry bad stuff either

So eat in moderation, choose wisely but live your life

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MarkDv
Posted: Aug 29, 2022 - 02:48 pm


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

Yes, right, mercury is somehow equally distributed in the fish tissue so you cannot eliminate or at least reduce it by trimming as this is the case for PCB.
But, again, mercury poisoning seems to be treatable, while PCB is not The guy from the article you mentioned was successfully treated and I read about another guy, from Europe, I believe, who regularly ate canning tuna considering it is healthy food, eventually developed bad nervous symptomes, had to quit his job etc, but then was successfully treated with selenium and returned to his normal life.
The level of any of the substances we talk about here in the blood does not mean much because the actual poisoning depends on where this stuff is going to settle down. Mercury mostly ends up in the bones and, despite it sounds weird, quite harmless for most people, especially in older ages. But for youngsters it is a completely different story. It also depends a lot on your body chemistry… We are all very different. Genetics plays a huge role here as well as other aspects of your life: diet (other than fish), lifestyle etc.
My personal approach is that I do not follow the guidelines from the Guide, but I do take some other measures which (I believe but could be wrong, of course) help me to avoid poisoning with this stuff. Also, I’m 61, who cares now…


Flukes
QUOTE
The reason for the young children having lower limits is to reduce the life-time accumulation of the contaminants because the more you have in your bodies, the more likely some health issue will show up when you reach that threshold

Not exactly.
The reason is that young people are still building their body, especially the nervous system and the bad stuff is very likely to settle in there creating disfunction of ion channels etc.
On the other hand, PCB of older people will end up in the adipose tissue thus basically be harmless for them.

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Flukes
Posted: Aug 29, 2022 - 08:33 pm


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If you think Hg only affects the young tell that to all the Japanese people who had "Minimata disease" (=mercury poisoning). Not only children suffered but for sure it;s often more emotional for people (me included) when they see young children suffer than older farts like myself. All ages and sexes are affected by Hg (otherwise, older people would have a separate set of recommendations for higher eating allowances).
And if you want to believe that PCBs will just end up in adipose tissue and basically becoming harmless to older people, sure believe that.

With regards to removing fatty tissue. Yes, that is always recommended to remove lipophilic (i.e., fat loving/attaching) contaminants because it's known that is where the contaminants concentrate. BUT, that is also not how the fish meat is tested. They test a piece of skinless, boneless meat from the dorsal (back) side of the fish (generally, the least fatty of any part of most fish) and that is why they are making recommendations based on eating meat from this part of the fish only and recommending that people remove as much of the fatty tissues as they can because these tissues will have even higher levels of many (not all) of the contaminants they test for than the dorsal meat. They also say clearly "do not eat" organs of ANY fish or the eggs of fatty fish (like salmonids) -they do not tested these tissues but know they have higher levels of many contaminants, including PCBs.

So the testing information that is provide is for what is likely the cleanest parts of fish and then they make recommendations on that information for an average person (of 154lbs - heavier people will have slightly more allowance as the thresholds are usually a concentration per weight) over an average person's lifespan (whatever that maybe - I don't think that is stated but can be important).

Anyway, the information is out there and people can make their decisions for themselves. I just wished they would put out the latest information they have that was obtained using tax payers' money...it belongs to us to see and know what is going on out there.

For those interested in reading the information at the beginning of the guide, it can be found here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/eating-ontario-...17-18#section-7

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MarkDv
Posted: Sep 01, 2022 - 11:48 am


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QUOTE (Flukes @ Aug 29, 2022 - 09:33 pm)
If you think Hg only affects the young tell that to all the Japanese people who had "Minimata disease" (=mercury poisoning). 

I really cannot argue here because it would seem that I encourage people to eat fish full of mercury and other crap. No I do not.

However you probably don’t realize well enough how concentration of the stuff we consume affects the body. You can regularly eat harmless chemical in large quantities and end up with a problem.
Minamata Bay is a rather secluded bay about 60km long and some 5-7 km wide. It has been dumped with methylmercury since 1908 and by the time the problem started to emerge in the 1950s, probably many tons of the stuff were dumped in the bay.
Then if you read about the Minamata Disaster in more detail you could see that the most affected subjects were cats, dogs and children which were borne in the heavily poisonous environment.. Pregnant women had at the time a really huge concentration of methylmercury in the body… I wouldn’t bother with numbers here but it is huge and we are, here, way way far from that.
So I still believe you are exaggerating the problem we have in our fishery even though yes, there is a big concern. If you would like to be on the safe side and take as many precautions as you can, that's totally fine.
But there is science and there is hype about science.
I just wanted to point out the known facts rather than be emotional about some of them.
But again I do not encourage people to eat fish from contaminated lakes or even eat big amounts of fish from any sources. No.

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reelinginthebigone
Posted: Sep 01, 2022 - 12:13 pm


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Hmm.. I used to be addicted to Albacore tuna.. I ate 3-4 cans a week for years.

Maybe that explains why I'm so ######ed up lol




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MarkDv
Posted: Sep 01, 2022 - 06:42 pm


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QUOTE (reelinginthebigone @ Sep 01, 2022 - 01:13 pm)
Hmm.. I used to be addicted to Albacore tuna.. I ate 3-4 cans a week for years.

Maybe that explains why I'm so ######ed up lol

I don't see any LOLs here....
But regardless how you feel - which may be due to the tuna you ate or other reasons - I don't think that was the right thing to do.

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MarkDv
Posted: Sep 01, 2022 - 06:52 pm


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https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/toxic-chem...items-1.6569257
Here is another recent example of the situation which shows that we really don’t know where we are. They test quite extensively our sport fish but do not do so for the vast variety of other products, eatable or not.
The bottom line… Life is a risky business. If you choose to live you have to accept the risk.
Take it easy. But not be stupid.
This is my approach.
Amen.

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reelinginthebigone
Posted: Sep 01, 2022 - 07:05 pm


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QUOTE (MarkDv @ Sep 01, 2022 - 06:42 pm)
QUOTE (reelinginthebigone @ Sep 01, 2022 - 01:13 pm)
Hmm.. I used to be addicted to Albacore tuna.. I ate 3-4 cans a week for years.

Maybe that explains why I'm so ######ed up lol

I don't see any LOLs here....
But regardless how you feel - which may be due to the tuna you ate or other reasons - I don't think that was the right thing to do.

Tough crowd. Let's laugh some more around here!


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Flukes
Posted: Sep 01, 2022 - 10:57 pm


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QUOTE (MarkDv @ Sep 01, 2022 - 11:48 am)
QUOTE (Flukes @ Aug 29, 2022 - 09:33 pm)
If you think Hg only affects the young tell that to all the Japanese people who had "Minimata disease" (=mercury poisoning). 

I really cannot argue here because it would seem that I encourage people to eat fish full of mercury and other crap. No I do not.

However you probably don’t realize well enough how concentration of the stuff we consume affects the body. You can regularly eat harmless chemical in large quantities and end up with a problem.
Minamata Bay is a rather secluded bay about 60km long and some 5-7 km wide. It has been dumped with methylmercury since 1908 and by the time the problem started to emerge in the 1950s, probably many tons of the stuff were dumped in the bay.
Then if you read about the Minamata Disaster in more detail you could see that the most affected subjects were cats, dogs and children which were borne in the heavily poisonous environment.. Pregnant women had at the time a really huge concentration of methylmercury in the body… I wouldn’t bother with numbers here but it is huge and we are, here, way way far from that.
So I still believe you are exaggerating the problem we have in our fishery even though yes, there is a big concern. If you would like to be on the safe side and take as many precautions as you can, that's totally fine.
But there is science and there is hype about science.
I just wanted to point out the known facts rather than be emotional about some of them.
But again I do not encourage people to eat fish from contaminated lakes or even eat big amounts of fish from any sources. No.

It's not me exaggerating the science. There is a reason why there are recommended levels (these is not someone's wild guesses but modeled scientifically for each of the chemicals of concern in the fish in our waters). What I am posting for someone else is making the point that the gov't has some new updated information that they are not posting and more or less recommends much less fish should be eaten from the only waters that they have decided to test for those chemicals (in this case, PFAS/PFOS) only because people pushed for it due to concerns....ends up they were right to be because the new testing shows what I would consider no real safe level to eat for most of the fish they tested). With Hg, well you can consider whatever you would like as well. Clearly, there are concerns with Hg for adult males as well or they would have a specific category for heavily-adiposed old males (ie., "no concerns"). If you believe in what the gov't scientists are telling us, it's in the guide. Take it or leave it, you are also still paying for it either way. Whether they test all other foods or otherwise, doesn't stop the fact that you have the information on sport fish. And just because they do not test everything else, it doesn't negate the information on sport fish.
Again, people can decide to do whatever they want with the information available. I just want the latest information they have to be made available. And people can eat as many of the fish with PFOS/PFAS, Hg, PCBs, etc. as they want after knowing (or they may not even care to know) and that is fine. But for those who would consider limiting their consumption of such contaminated fish, they should have the latest information, esp. if the recommendations have been decreased greatly...I think that is more than a reasonable ask for our money going into pay some consultant to do the study (initially, it was SNC Lavalin - hmm, where have we heard that name pop up before - and it was botched so badly that they had to hire another company to redo the study).

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