RD247 - Virginia Department of Health Guidelines for Issuance of Fish Consumption Advisories Due to Contamination of Fish with Polychlorinated Biphenyls (Revised 2012)

Executive Summary:
Pursuant to § 32.1-248.01, Code of Virginia, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) “...shall develop a written policy, which shall be revised annually, that identifies the criteria and levels of concern for certain toxic substances that the Department will use in determining whether to issue a fish consumption advisory...” VDH currently maintains fish consumption guidelines for five fish contaminants, including dioxin, kepone, mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polybrominated diphyenyl ethers. PCBs were included in the initial guidelines developed in 2000 because they persist in the environment, bioaccumulate in the food chain, are associated with skin conditions in adults, neurobehavioral and immunological changes in children, and are known to cause cancer in animals. VDH has recently revised its guidelines for calculating the concentration of PCBs in fish for issuance of consumption advisories. The new guidelines will become effective November 1, 2012.