Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Michigan Canals Still Hide Their PCB Sources

Two canals in Michigan are dangerously contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, according to this advisory. The seriousness of the contamination was underscored by the Michigan Department of Health when it wrote in the advisory that the PCB levels were 2,000 times higher than those typically seen in fish taken from Lake St. Clair.

The advisories cover the bottom feeders -- carp and catfish. That’s because they feed closest to the contaminated sediments and have high concentrations of body fat to store the PCBs. The canals affected are the Lange and Revere off Lake St. Clair.

Residents who live along the canals are concerned about how long it’s taking to find the source of the contamination. The Environmental Protection Agency has been sampling and cleaning up problem areas for years but hasn’t been able to determine just where the contamination originated. PCBs have been linked to cancer and are a persistent pollutant, meaning they accumulate in the environment and in the tissues of living things.

By: Duane Craig

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