Modified: July 15, 2019 10:28am
From the Office of the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Gale R. Burstein
Date: July 15, 2019
CONTACT: Kara Kane, Public Information Officer
Phone: (716) 858-4941
ERIE COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SHARES GUIDANCE FOR FISH CONSUMPTION
Women who are pregnant, breastfeeding mothers and young children urged to avoid eating fish from local waterways
ERIE COUNTY, NY— For residents of Erie County and western New York who may consume fish from local waterways, the Erie County Department of Health cites a New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) recommendation that women under 50 years old and children under 15 years old do not eat any fish caught from the Buffalo River, Buffalo Harbor, Cayuga Creek, Delaware Park Lake/Hoyt Lake, the Erie Canal or Eighteenmile Creek. Additional restrictions are placed on fish coming from Lake Erie and the Niagara River. These advisories are based on the potential that fish from these sources are contaminated with PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), dioxins and other pollutants that can cause disease, hormonal imbalances and immune system impairment.
“Fish and seafood can be part of everyone’s balanced diet, but we are urging caution when it comes to fish from local waterways,” said Erie County Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale R. Burstein. “Know what type of fish you’re eating and where it came from, especially if caught by a friend or family member, and check it against the latest advisories from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and NYSDOH.”
In early July, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a joint press release with advice for women of child-bearing age and children on eating fish. Their recommendations described the health benefits of eating certain types of fish when pregnant or breastfeeding, and how fish and other protein-rich foods can support growth and development in children.
The FDA and EPA advise pregnant women, women who may become pregnant, breastfeeding mothers and young children to avoid eating certain fish based on high levels of mercury and other contaminants. These types include shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tuna (bigeye), marlin, orange roughy and tilefish from any source.
FDA/EPA Advice on Eating Fish: https://www.fda.gov/food/consumers/advice-about-eating-fish
New York State Department of Health, Fish: http://www.health.ny.gov/fish
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Fishing: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/fishing.html
New York State Western Region: Health Advice on Eating Fish You Catch for Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming Counties: https://www.health.ny.gov/publications/2792.pdf