Toxins In Calif. Sport Fish Measured

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SAN DIEGO, Aug. 15 (UPI) — A study of toxins in California sport fish found worrisome levels of PCBs and methylmercury at several spots near San Diego Bay, authorities said.

Moderate-to-high levels of pollutants were found in species including bass, perch, rockfish and shark, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported Monday.

San Diego, like other industrial and military hubs across the country, has long been known as a toxic “hot spot,” the newspaper said.

Studies done for the State Water Resources Control Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency focused on sport fish because they provide information about human exposure to chemicals and the condition of the aquatic food web.

“Maybe people don’t eat fish from the bay, but everybody is connected to the food web,” said Laura Hunter of the Environmental Health Coalition in National City.

The studies will help officials with decisions on dealing with chemical pollutants, officials said.

“Now we can look toward seeing what the best way to deal with these chemicals may be,” Dave Clegern, a spokesman for the state water board, said. “In the case of mercury, it’s so heavy many researchers believe the best solution is to let it be so it is eventually buried. PCBs are often regarded the same way, but that may not be the best course everywhere.”

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