"Warnings About Contaminated Fish Fail To Reach People Most at Risk"

"People of color eat a lot of locally-caught fish for economic and cultural reasons. And yet they are the least likely to be warned because state efforts fail to reach minority and low-income populations."

"MADISON, Wis. -- Trey Mackey expertly baits his fishing hook with a live worm, sits down on a folding chair and casts a line into the waters of Monona Bay. He’s driven up from Chicago for a day of fishing that could provide a fresh, tasty dinner of blue gill.

But unbeknownst to Mackey, consuming fish from the bay carries a significant health risk.

Every state, including Wisconsin, has issued health advisories for an array of rivers, lakes and bays that warn of the dangers of eating fish tainted with industrial compounds and other chemicals. For Mackey, who is African American, the risk is exacerbated: People of color eat a lot of locally-caught fish for economic and cultural reasons. And yet they are the least likely to be aware of the risks because state efforts to warn anglers fail to reach many minority and low-income populations."

Rae Tyson reports for Environmental Health News September 13, 2012, as part of its "Pollution, Poverty, People of Color" series.
 

Source: EHN, 09/13/2012