Session: Innovative Topics - Fish, Fats and Toxic Pollutants, Part I: Benefits and Risks of Eating Contaminated Fish
4129.0: Tuesday, November 18, 2003: 12:30 PM-2:00 PM
Innovative Topics - Fish, Fats and Toxic Pollutants, Part I: Benefits and Risks of Eating Contaminated Fish
Fish is a very nutritious food, in many cases providing important health benefits. However, fish is also vulnerable to contamination by toxic pollutants that persist in the environment and accumulate in living organisms. Fish contaminants of concern include mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). These pollutants come from a variety of human activities, including coal-fired power plants, waste incinerators, and other heavy industries. The federal government has posted 2,618 fish consumption advisories for lakes, rivers, and coastal areas across 49 states. Large ocean fish such as swordfish and fresh tuna are also contaminated, as is canned tuna, the most consumed fish in America. Developing fetuses, infants, and children are particularly vulnerable to health risks associated with these common fish contaminants. Pregnant and breast-feeding women and young children therefore should be cautious about fish consumption. However, because these pollutants build up in the body over time, a woman’s consumption throughout her early life is also very important. Individuals and their health care providers should carefully consider the health benefits and risks associated with eating fish and make informed choices.
Learning Objectives: This two-part session is intended to explore in depth the complex and troubling issue of fish contamination. Part I will examine the health risks and nutritional benefits of fish consumption, levels of common fish contaminants measured in the bodies of Americans, and guidelines to assist health care providers in counseling patients about fish in their diets. Part II will look at federal and state efforts to protect the public from exposure to pollutants in fish, lessons learned from community based risk communication projects, and needed policy actions to prevent pollution at its source.
See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.
Organizer(s):Stefanie DeOLLoqui, MS
Kevin Delaney, MPH
Moderator(s):David B. Wallinga, MD, MPA
12:30 PMMercury levels in high-end fish consumers in a San Francisco medical practice
Jane M Hightower, MD
12:50 PMBiomarkers of Mercury Exposure in Humans: US Profile Based on NHANES 1999 and 2000
Kathryn R. Mahaffey, PhD
1:10 PMContaminated Fish and Beneficial Fats: Guidelines for Health Professionals on Dietary Advice to Patients
David B. Wallinga, MD, MPA
1:30 PMMercury and other Persistent Fish Pollutants: Risks to the Fetus and Child
Gina Solomon, MD
Organized by:Environment
Endorsed by:Community Health Planning and Policy Development; Epidemiology; Food and Nutrition; Public Health Education and Health Promotion
CE Credits:CME, Environmental Health, Health Education (CHES), Nursing, Pharmacy

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA