The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) is issuing an Interim Fish Consumption Advisory for the Saginaw River. This action extends the advisory currently in effect for the Tittabawassee River to the entire length of the Saginaw River.
MDCH has issued this Interim Advisory in conjunction with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
Very high levels of dioxins have been found in sediments in the middle of the Saginaw River channel just off shore Wickes Park. The sediment sample was taken by contractors working for the Dow Chemical Company as part of the on-going investigation of contamination in the Tittabawassee and Saginaw Rivers. Fish living or migrating in the Saginaw River will accumulate dioxins, mostly in the fatty tissue. People who eat these fish will in turn take dioxins into their bodies.
Dioxins are a group of chemicals that have similar structures and chemical properties, and are usually found together in the environment. The health effects associated with dioxins may include cancer, reproductive or developmental effects, and effects on the immune system.
New information about dioxin concentrations in fish samples taken from the Saginaw River will be available in late November. Until then, the MDCH recommends that people follow these advisories for eating fish caught in the Saginaw River:
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