Officials: Limit consumption of sturgeon from lower Columbia

State health officials in Washington and Oregon are recommending the public limit their consumption of sturgeon caught from the lower Columbia River.

A health advisory comes from the Washington Department of Health as fish tissue data shows contaminant levels of polychlorinated biphenyls — or PCBs — at levels above Washington state’s screening values, The Seattle Times reported.

In Washington, the advisory applies to any fish caught in the Columbia River between the Bonneville Dam and the mouth of the Columbia.

Officials recommend that most adults should not eat more than eight meals of sturgeon a month, and no more than seven for pregnant women, nursing mothers and children.

The Oregon Health Authority also issued an advisory for the lower Columbia River and the lower Willamette River.

PCBs can exist in sediment where sturgeon feed, which can lead to accumulations in their fat-rich meat. Eating too many fish contaminated with PCBs can have negative health effects including damage to organs, the nervous system and potential learning and behavioral organs, according to the Oregon Health Authority.

Infants and young children are the most vulnerable to the effects, according to Washington officials.

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