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Ecology Workshops on Possible Changes to Fish Consumption Rates

The workshops – part of a continuing public dialogue – will focus on fish consumption rates and how they connect with sediment cleanup decisions under the state’s Sediment Management Standards. Here’s the workshop schedule:

* May 7 in Ellensburg – 8:30 a.m. to noon, Central Washington University, Student Union Ballroom. Directions: http://www.cwu.edu/~schedule/cms/index.php?page=contact-us

* May 8 in Tacoma- 8:30 a.m. to noon, University of Washington’s Tacoma Campus, Keystone Building (Carwein Auditorium). Directions: http://www.tacoma.uw.edu/campus-map

* May 15 in Spokane Valley – 1 to 4:30 p.m., CenterPlace Regional Event Center. Directions: http://www.centerplacespokanevalley.com/contact.html

Washington has made significant progress to reduce toxic chemicals. It has dramatically reduced mercury pollution, and is phasing out persistent chemicals that build up in the food chain, such as flame retardants. Washington has taken steps to reduce and phase out the use of copper brake pads, lead wheel weights, copper boat paints and chemicals in children’s products. 

Since toxic chemicals are also found in fish and shellfish, Ecology is continuing to work on this problem by developing a more accurate view of how much fish and shellfish Washington residents eat.

Washington currently uses two rates: 6.5 grams per day incorporated into water quality standards, and 54 grams per day, which is the Model Toxics Control Act default value used in setting sediment and water cleanup standards. The current rates were developed in the 1980s and 1990s. 

The best current science now indicates that the present fish consumption rates do not accurately reflect how much of the state’s fish and shellfish Washingtonians actually eat. Some people consume a lot more fish and shellfish than the state’s current rates reflect. 

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Media Contacts: Seth Preston, Ecology communications manager, 360-407-6848; 360-584-5744 cell; seth.preston@ecy.wa.gov
Sandy Howard, Ecology communications manager, 360-407-6408; sandy.howard@ecy.wa.gov

Ecology’s fish consumption rates webpage: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/toxics/fish.html

Ecology’s website: http://www.ecy.wa.gov 

Ecology’s social media: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/about/newmedia.html

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