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HEALTH CONSULTATION

Evaluation of Metals in Bullhead, Bass, and Kokanee from Lake Coeur D'Alene

COEUR D'ALENE RIVER BASIN
COEUR D'ALENE, KOOTENAI COUNTY, IDAHO


CONCLUSIONS

  1. In Lake Coeur d'Alene fish samples collected in 2002, 14 metals were eliminated as contaminants of concern(antimony, barium, beryllium, chromium, cobalt, copper, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, selenium, silver,thallium, vanadium, and zinc. Worst case exposure conditions were used and included maximum metal levels, atraditional subsistence fish consumption rate (540 g/day), and other factors (Appendix C). Although people areexposed to these metals in fish, adverse health effects are not likely to occur. No apparent public health hazardexists for children or adults exposed to these metals in bass, kokanee or bullheads from Lake Coeur d'Alene.

  2. Conservative evaluation for non-cancer effects of arsenic (i) used the highest average level (0.218 mg/kg,bullhead gutted carcass), (ii) assumed 20% inorganic arsenic, and (iii) used traditional subsistence consumptionrates. Although people are exposed to arsenic in fish, the resulting exposure dose estimates for adults and childrenare below levels that have been associated with health effects. For non-cancer effects of arsenic, no apparent publichealth hazard exists for adults or children exposed to arsenic levels found in bass, kokanee or bullheads from Lake Coeur d'Alene.

  3. Conservative assessments for carcinogenic effects of arsenic exposures were done using (i) resident and non-resident exposure durations, (ii) the highest average arsenic levels for gutted carcass and fillet samples, and (iii)assuming that inorganic arsenic was 20% of total arsenic. Non-resident recreational consumer scenarios had thelowest excess cancer risk estimates while traditional subsistence consumer scenarios for gutted carcass portions hadthe highest (Table 6). No apparent public health hazard is considered to exist for non-resident recreationalconsumers exposed to arsenic in fillets of bullheads, bass or kokanee. A public health hazard may exist fortraditional subsistence consumers exposed to arsenic in gutted carcass portions of bullheads, bass or kokaneebecause of increased consumption rates and higher arsenic concentrations in these samples.

  4. Conservative evaluation of cadmium used the maximum average concentration (0.139 mg/kg, kokanee guttedcarcass) and traditional subsistence consumption rates. Although some exposure dose calculations indicate thepossibility of elevated exposures to cadmium, people typically consume a variety of fish species, use both filletportions and gutted carcass portions, and eat lower amounts of fish than we used in our calculations. Each of thesefactors would result in exposures below our estimates. Therefore, no apparent public health hazard is considered toexist for children or adults exposed to cadmium in bullheads, bass or kokanee from Lake Coeur d'Alene.

  5. Conservative evaluations of lead exposures were done using resident and non-resident exposure conditions. Average lead levels were used and the bioavailability of lead was assumed to be 100%. Estimated increases in blood lead were highest for traditional subsistence consumers of bullhead gutted carcass portions and lowest for non-resident, recreational consumers (Table 8). A public health hazard may exist for adult traditional and contemporary subsistence consumers of bullhead gutted carcass portions, especially from the center sampling area of the lake. A public health hazard may also exist for adult, resident recreational consumers with existing blood lead levels > 6-7 µg/dL who eat gutted bullhead portions, especially from the center sampling area of the lake. No apparent public health hazard is considered to exist for adult, non-resident recreational consumers exposed to lead in the species and portion types which we evaluated. No apparent public health hazard is likely to exist for adults eating fillets of bullhead, bass or kokanee, orfor adults eating gutted bass or kokanee portions.

  6. Conservative evaluation of child lead exposures indicated that bullhead gutted carcass portions could push blood lead levels beyond the CDC benchmark (10 µg/dL). Children (1-5 and 6-11 YOA) who are at the 95th percentile level reported by CDC (2003), bass and kokanee gutted carcass portions, and bullhead fillets, could have elevated blood lead levels if they consume 170 g/day (contemporary subsistence) or more. A public health hazard may exist for children who consume bullhead gutted carcass portions. A public health hazard may also exist for children (1-5 and 6-11 YOA) with elevated blood lead levels if they eat 170 g/day or more of gutted bass or kokanee portions or bullhead fillets. Children with major exposures to lead in soil or household dust are most likely to have elevated lead levels.

  7. Conservative evaluation of mercury used the maximum average concentration (0.188 mg/kg in bass fillets fromthe center sampling area). This was 2-4 times higher than mercury levels found in bullheads or kokanee. Exposuredose estimates for traditional and contemporary subsistence fish consumers indicated the possibility of elevatedexposures and adverse effects. Thus, a public health hazard may exist for pregnant women, women of childbearingage, young children, and adults who are subsistence fish consumers. No apparent public health hazard is thought toexist for non-resident recreational fish consumers exposed to the mercury levels found in these Lake Coeur d'Alenefish. No apparent public health hazard is likely for children eating 6.5 g of fish per day or less. A public healthhazard could exist for children (2-6 and 7-14 YOA) who eat more than 65 g day of fish per day.

  8. Overall average cadmium, lead and mercury concentrations were higher in the Lake Coeur d'Alene fish samplescollected in 2002 than in the fish samples from the lateral lakes which were previously evaluated by ATSDR (1998).Different species and specimen sizes were collected these two studies.

  9. Average arsenic, cadmium, and mercury levels in the 2002 bass and bullhead gutted carcass samples from LakeCoeur d'Alene were below, or comparable to, whole-body samples from the USGS (2002) reference site. Averagelead concentrations in bass and bullhead gutted carcass samples from Lake Coeur d'Alene were usually higher thanthe reference site and the highest sub-basin or station means reported by USGS (2002). In bullhead gutted carcasssamples from the north and center Lake Coeur d'Alene sampling areas, average lead levels were higher than themaximum whole body lead value (Table 13) reported by USGS (2002).

  10. Average arsenic concentrations were lower in the Lake Coeur d'Alene samples than in eight fish-related fooditems found in the FDA Total Diet Studies Database (Table 14). Average cadmium levels in the Lake Coeur d'Alenefish samples were similar to levels found in eight fish-related food items found in the FDA Total Diet StudiesDatabase. Lead and mercury concentrations in the 2002 Lake Coeur d'Alene fish samples, and in the lateral lakessamples evaluated by ATSDR (1998), were higher than in the eight fish-related food items found in the FDA TotalDiet Studies database (Table 14).

  11. Several essential trace elements (copper, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, selenium, zinc) found in Lake Coeurd'Alene fish were determined not to be contaminants of concern. They were also considered to be within therespective tolerable upper intake limits that have been established (Table 15), especially for average exposureconditions. When making decisions about fish consumption, consideration should be given to balancing the risksversus benefits.

  12. We used conservative approaches to evaluate adverse health impacts from exposure to 18 metals found in twoportion types of three fish species Lake Coeur d'Alene. We first determined that 14 metals were not likely to be ofconcern. Four metals (arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury) were then evaluated further using maximum and averagemetal levels, subsistence and recreational fish consumption rates, and other factors (Appendix C). As a result,cadmium was determined to present no apparent public health hazard. The remaining three metals (arsenic, lead andmercury) were determined to present varying degrees of concern depending on the amount, portion type (guttedcarcass or fillet), and fish species eaten (Table 16).

  13. Eating fish offers both benefits and risks. We recognize that fish consumption rates are an important factor inassessing exposures and the potential for adverse effects. A wide range of consumption rates (6.5 to 540 g/day) andseveral exposure scenarios are included in this consultation. These were used to help gain a better idea of which fishconsumption habits are more likely to result in adverse exposures.

Table 16.

Summary of hazard category conclusions.
 SubsistenceRecreational
 TraditionalContemporaryResidentNon-resident
 Adult ChildAdult ChildAdult ChildAdult Child
Bullheads,Gutted        
As-NoncancerNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
As-CancerYes---Yes---Yes---Yes---
CdNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
PbYesYesYesYesYes*YesNoYes
HgYesYesYesaYesNoYesNoNo
Bullheads, Fillet        
As-NoncancerNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
As-CancerYes---Yes---Yes---No---
CdNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
PbNoYesNoYes*NoNoNoNo
HgYesYesYesaYesNoYesNoNo
Bass, Gutted        
As-NoncancerNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
As-CancerYes---Yes---Yes---Yes---
CdNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
PbNoYesNoYes*NoYes*NoNo
HgYesYesYesYesYesaYesNoNo
Bass, Fillets        
As-NoncancerNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
As-CancerYes---Yes---Yes---No---
CdNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
PbNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
HgYesYesYesYesYesaYesNoNo
Kokanee Gutted        
As-NoncancerNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
As-CancerYes---Yes---Yes---Yes---
CdNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
PbNoYesNoYes*NoNoNoNo
HgYesYesYesaYesNoYesNoNo
Kokanee Fillets        
As-NoncancerNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
As-CancerYes---Yes---Yes---No---
CdNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
PbNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNo
HgYesYesYesaYesNoYesNoNo

Note: For non-cancer categories, "Yes" denotes a conclusion of public health hazard; "Yesa" specifies pregnant women and women of child-bearing age; "No" denotes no apparent public health hazard.

For cancer, only lifetime exposures (70 yrs) are shown. No indicates low cancer risk (10-6 risklevel); Yes indicates moderate (10-5 risk level) or increased (10-4 risk level) cancer risk. "Yes*" indicates public health hazard for people with elevated blood lead levels.


RECOMMENDATIONS/PUBLIC HEALTH ADVICE/PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION PLAN

ATSDR and the IDOH will provide the findings of this health consultation to the public and to the Coeur d'Alene Tribe. The following information will be included:

  • Overall exposure to metals in fish from Lake Coeur d'Alene can be reduced by eating fillet portions instead of gutted carcass portions.

  • Children (infants to 11 years old) should limit their consumption of meals prepared from bullhead, bass, and kokanee from Lake Coeur d'Alene.

  • Adults, particularly pregnant women, should limit the number of meals prepared from bass, bullhead gutted carcass portions, and kokanee from Lake Coeur d'Alene.

IDOH will provide fish consumption advisory information to the public.

In June 2003, the Idaho Division ofHealth released a fish consumption advisory based on the results reported by USEPA (2003) and the suggested meallimits shown in Appendix E. A large outreach effort has been initiated with the Division of Health and the Coeurd'Alene Tribe. Commonly used access areas are to be posted with the advisory. The advisory (Appendix F) can beaccessed at Idaho agency internet sites such as http://www2.state.id.us/dhw/behs/index.htm (click on Fish Advisories). Access to this site was verified on 21 August 2003. ATSDRprovided a letter of support regarding the issuance of the fish consumption advisory in June2003. This consult was prepared to complete our joint assessment of the fish data used for the advisory.

Update http://www.accessidaho.org/ links to reflect the 2003 advisory information

Fish consumption advisory information can be accessed at http://www.accessidaho.org/ , clicking on agency index, and selecting "Health and Welfare, Department of" (verified on 21August 2003). The http://www.accessidaho.org/ site can also be searched for "fish consumption advisories".

Fish advisory information should beprovided through the Coeur d'Alene Tribe's web site http://www.cdatribe.org/

No fish advisory-related information could be found on the Coeur d'Alene Tribe's web site as of 21 August 2003. This should be added to the site as part of tribal education and outreach efforts.

Any future sampling and analysisof fish should include inorganic arsenic analysis.

The fish advisory issued by IDOH lists future actions that includesampling fish in future years, and analyzing the samples collected in 2002 for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).


PREPARERS OF REPORT

Authors of Report

William A. Robison, Ph.D.
Toxicologist
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

Lijun Jin, Toxicologist
Idaho Division of Health
Bureau of Community and Environmental Health


Reviewers of Report

Déborah A. Boling, M.P.H.
Health Assessor
ATSDR, Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Superfund Site Assessment Branch

Richard Kauffman, M.S.
Senior Regional Representative, Region 10
ATSDR, Office of Regional Operations

Sven Rodenbeck, Sc.D., P.E., D.E.E.
Section Chief
ATSDR, Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Superfund Site Assessment Branch

Marc Stifelman, Environmental Toxicologist
USEPA, Region 10
Office of Environmental Assessment, Risk Evaluation Unit

Ann E. Bradley
University of Washington, MPH Candidate
ATSDR Region 10

Elke Shaw-Tulloch, M.H.S, Chief
Bureau of Community and Environmental Health
Idaho Division of Health
Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

Aaron Scheff, M.Ed.
Bureau of Community and Environmental Health
Idaho Division of Health
Idaho Department of Health and Welfare


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