This study is based on an analysis of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and state environmental and health authority data for fish consumption advisories.
The 2004 version of the Listing of Fish Advisories may be retrieved from the EPA web site at http://www.epa.gov/waterscience/fish/advisories.
Each record in the NLFA is associated with a population code, which indicates both the target population affected by the advisory and fish species affected by the advisory. Each record also specifies the chemical contaminant(s) responsible for the advisory. State health advisories (see Appendix B for an example) range from prohibitions against consumption of all or certain species of fish for all persons, to limited consumption for certain groups of individuals, e.g., pregnant women. In addition, each record contains a contact name and phone number.
Most advisories include more than one contaminant and may concern more than one species of fish and/or shellfish. While it is difficult to count advisories by contaminant, it is possible to tally the number of advisories that include a particular contaminant. For the sake of consistency, the EPA counts the advisories by waterbody, such as a bay, lake, or reach of a river.
Different states employ different counting and tissue sampling methods for issuing advisories. The threshold levels for contaminants detected in fish tissue also vary across the states. The EPA counts by waterbody affected to allow the states to be combined into a single format for nationwide reporting and analysis.
Total Number of Advisories
The 2004 EPA NLFWCA reports a total of 3,221 waterbodies currently under some type of fish consumption advisory nationwide.
Advisories for Dioxin
Following the EPA methodology, AET's analysis counts dioxin advisories by waterbody. For instance, two advisories for different reaches of the same river or for the same river running through two states, with both advisories attributed to the same source, are counted as one advisory.
>> return to 2004 EPA National Listing of Fish Advisories (NLFA)