Mercury Contamination in Penobscot River Lobsters Was Known for 8 Years

"But consumers didn’t learn about the ‘hazardous’ levels until a state agency closed the fishing area."

"Researchers who conducted tests have known for at least eight years that lobsters at the mouth of the Penobscot River contained “hazardous” levels of mercury, but consumers were not told until the state announced it this week.

The long-term study that led the Department of Marine Resources to declare Tuesday that it will close down lobster and crab harvesting in a 7-square-mile area shows that lobsters in the area have had mercury levels, year-to-year since 2006, that are higher than the state deems safe to consume.

The banks downriver from the former HoltraChem Manufacturing Co. plant in Orrington still contain mercury, decades after the company stopped dumping chemicals into the waterway leading to the bay, according to the study."

Scott Dolan and Tom Bell report for the Portland Press Herald February 20, 2014.

Source: Portland Press Herald, 02/20/2014