PCBs found in Clear Lake fish; local authorities warn residents regarding consumption

State and local authorities are warning residents of PCBs found in fish from LaPorte’s Clear Lake (pictured; WNLP photo)

Press release issued 10/31/17:

The LaPorte County Health Department, in conjunction with the City of LaPorte and the Indiana State Department of Health, is notifying residents of a preliminary Fish Consumption Advisory for Clear Lake.

Fish tissue samples collected from Clear Lake by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management indicate the presence of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in fish at this location. The historic source of the contamination has not been determined.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Regarding the PCB source, LaPorte Park Superintendent Mark Schreiber further told WNLP that “As we understand it, at this time, it is impossible for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to determine the exact source of PCBs in Clear Lake. Before they were banned, PCBs were used for insulating electrical parts, lubricating machine parts, paints and much more. Considering the history of land use within Clear Lake’s watershed, there are many potential historical sources of PCBs.”)

The United States banned the manufacture of PCBs in 1977 because of potential health effects associated with exposure as seen in laboratory animals. PCBs accumulate in fat and organs of the animals that take these chemicals in. Fish can absorb PCBs in lake sediment, creating health concerns for people who frequently consume the fish caught from Clear Lake over a long period of time.

The Indiana State Department of Health has notified LaPorte officials that the preliminary fish consumption advisory for Clear Lake will be in place until more samples can be collected and analyzed. The state health department recommends that consumption of fish from Clear Lake be limited to no more than one meal per month by all populations. Exceptions to this general advice are:

— Do not eat common carp.

— Largemouth bass consumption for all legal sizes should be limited to no more than 6 meals per year.

Hoosiers can reduce their exposure to PCBs in fish by preparing the fish as a skin-off fillet, removing the fatty portions and other organs where PCBs can accumulate, broiling the meat instead of pan frying so the fat drips away, and choosing smaller, younger fish over older, larger fish.

For a complete list of fish consumption advisories in Indiana, refer to the Indiana Fish Consumption Advisory website, http://www.in.gov/isdh/23650.htm. Purdue University offers a fish consumption wallet card to provide guidance for women and children regarding consumption of restaurant or store-bought fish.

For additional information about fish consumption and nutritional recommendations, visit http://bit.ly/2kZe5Bs or http://bit.ly/2xQgX4V

3 Responses to “PCBs found in Clear Lake fish; local authorities warn residents regarding consumption”

  1. Greg

    Nov 01. 2017

    Allis Chalmers wasn’t very careful back then on handling oils and paints.

    Reply to this comment
  2. jason

    Nov 01. 2017

    I wonder if all the agitated soil at new port landing drains into the lake? Also, What is in that giant pile of dirt by the roundabout? Possibly heavily contaminated surface soil where heavy industry one stood? What’s the plan with the dirt mountain? Is it safe? When I see kids playing around it I keep thinking its going to collapse with the sheer sides on it and kill someone. It appears to be “special soil” by it’s segregation. I realize the implications of calling a thing a thing but “don’t eat the fish” doesn’t seem like a good long term plan.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Ashton Leigh

    Nov 01. 2017

    This is too bad, but hopefully it gets cleaned up.

    Reply to this comment

Leave a Reply