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ATSDR Press Room

Fish and shellfish in Vieques, Puerto Rico found safe to eat


Vieques, Vieques

Monday, July 21, 2003

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, today announced it is releasing the final public health assessment (PHA) focused on fish and shellfish in Vieques, Puerto Rico.

ATSDR finds that the fish and shellfish from Vieques present no apparent public health hazard from normal consumption patterns and are, therefore, safe to eat. Although several metals were detected in some of the fish and shellfish, the concentrations that were present were too low to be of health concern in virtually all exposure situations evaluated.

ATSDR conducts PHAs to report information about hazardous substances in the environment and evaluate whether exposure to those substances in the past, present or future could harm people in the area.

The PHA on fish and shellfish was conducted to determine if eating fish and shellfish caught on or around the island of Vieques could have adverse health effects.

In May 1999, an island resident petitioned ATSDR to evaluate whether any health problems in Vieques residents might be associated with potential releases of hazardous substances from military training activities on the island. ATSDR responded by conducting a series of focused public health assessments on the pathways (air, soil, groundwater/drinking water and fish/shellfish) by which exposure could occur.

In July 2001, ATSDR, in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Environmental Response Team, collected commonly caught and consumed fish and shellfish from the coastal waters and from land near shore on Vieques. ATSDR evaluated whether the muscle tissues of the fish and shellfish contained levels of heavy metals and explosive compounds that would adversely affect public health.

The PHA will be available on July 21, 2003, at the following records repositories:

Biblioteca Publica
Municipio de Vieques
Calle Carlos Lebrum 449
Vieques, PR

The Vieques Conservation and Historical Trust
El Fideicomiso de Conservacion E Historia de Vieques
138 Flamboyan St.
Vieques, PR

University of Puerto Rico
School of Public Health
Medical Sciences Campus Library
Industrial Hygiene Department
San Juan, PR

Community members seeking information on the procedures or the content of the public health assessment may contact Environmental Health Scientist Gary Campbell, Environmental Health Scientist Jeff Kellam or Health Communication Specialist Maria Teran-MacIver toll free at 1-888-422-8737. Regional Representative Arthur Block also may be contacted at 212-637-4307. When calling, please refer to the Vieques fish/shellfish PHA.

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Related News Releases For Vieques, Vieques, Puerto Rico

 

ATSDR Releases Final Report on Vieques
Release Date: Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Following a thorough review of environmental, biological, and health data from the Puerto Rican island of Vieques, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) released its final report today.

La ATSDR publica informe final sobre Vieques
Release Date: Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Basado en una revisión minuciosa de los datos ambientales, biológicos y de salud de la isla de Vieques, Puerto Rico, la Agencia para Sustancias Tóxicas y el Registro de Enfermedades (ATSDR por sus siglas en inglés) publicó hoy su informe final.

Federal Agency to Change its Early Conclusions on Environmental Assessment in Vieques
Release Date: Friday, November 13, 2009
ATLANTA - The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has signaled its intent to modify some of its earlier conclusions about health risks to residents of the Island of Vieques. The decision was shared during a meeting with scientists from Puerto Rico and followed a thorough review of ATSDR public health assessments finalized in 2003 and other environmental studies of the island conducted in the intervening years. ATSDR's re-examination of the data comes as part of a "fresh look" the federal public health agency pledged to island residents and Congress.

Agencia Federal Cambiará sus Primeras Conclusiones en la Evaluación Ambiental de Vieques
Release Date: Friday, November 13, 2009
ATLANTA-La Agencia para Sustancias Tóxicas y el Registro de Enfermedades (ATSDR por sus siglas en inglés) ha señalado su intento de modificar algunas de sus primeras conclusiones sobre los riesgos de salud de los residentes de la Isla Vieques. La decisión fue compartida durante una reunión con científicos de Puerto Rico después de una revisión comprensiva de las evaluaciones de salud pública que la ATSDR finalizó en el 2003 y otros estudios ambientales de la isla elaborados en los años siguientes. La reexaminación de los datos forma parte de la “mirada fresca” que la agencia de salud pública prometió a los residentes de la isla y al Congreso.

ATSDR Releases Final Health Assessment on Air Pathway for the Isla de Vieques Bombing Range Site, Vieques, Puerto Rico.
Release Date: Monday, September 15, 2003
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, today released a final public health assessment (PHA) that investigated the air pathway for possible contaminants from the U.S. Navy's bombing range site on the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico. The PHA finds that exposure to air contaminants potentially released from Navy property on Vieques poses no apparent health hazard.

ATSDR Releases Public Comment Version of Focused Public Health Assessment on Air Pathway for the Isla de Vieques Bombing Range Site, Vieques, Puerto Rico
Release Date: Wednesday, December 18, 2002
ATSDR's initial public health assessment on possible air contamination resulting from the Navy's past activities at the Vieques, Puerto Rico, bombing range concludes that no apparent public health hazard exists for people who might have been exposed to contaminants in the air. The deadline for written public comments is Feb 24, 2003.

ATSDR Releases Public Comment Version of Focused Public Health Assessment on Fish and Shellfish for Vieques Bombing Range Site, Vieques, Puerto Rico
Release Date: Wednesday, November 27, 2002
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is releasing today for public comment a focused public health assessment (PHA) on fish and shellfish in Vieques, Puerto Rico.

ATSDR Announces The Availability Of The Draft Version Of Its Focused Public Health Assessment, Soil Pathway Evaluation, for Isla de Vieques, Puerto Rico
Release Date: Friday, October 26, 2001
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, announced today the availability of the draft version of its Focused Public Health Assessment, Soil Pathway Evaluation, for Isla de Vieques, Puerto Rico.

Ponce School of Medicine and ATSDR Releases The Summary Report for the Vieques Heart Study Expert Panel Review
Release Date: Tuesday, October 23, 2001
The Ponce School of Medicine and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a public health agency of the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, today jointly are releasing the Summary Report for the Vieques Heart Study Expert Panel Review.

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