EPA and TDSHS Warn Against Consumption of Contaminated Fish
During the week of Feb. 6-12, 2012, representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) will be in the area of South Alamo, Texas, to speak with residents about the contamination in the Donna Reservoir and Canal. This effort is being made to provide local residents with information about the health risks of consuming fish taken from the Donna Reservoir and Canal. The possession of contaminated fish taken from the reservoir is prohibited by the TDSHS.
The principal pollutants in the reservoir are polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). PCBs are a group of synthetic organic chemicals that can cause a number of different harmful effects in humans. The primary risk to human health from PCBs is from suspended sediment in the water and the consumption of contaminated fish. Effects of consumption of contaminated fish may include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, skin rashes, acne, and cancer.
The Donna Reservoir and Canal is an EPA Superfund site located in Hidalgo County in southern Texas just north of the Rio Grande. The site includes the Donna Reservoir, the Donna Main Canal, the West and East Main Canals which extend north from the reservoir, and a series of interconnecting canals.