December 28, 2005
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has issued an advisory recommending no consumption of any species of fish from Ellison Creek Reservoir in Morris County.
The advisory, signed by Texas Commissioner of Health Services Eduardo Sanchez, was issued after laboratory tests detected elevated levels of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, in sampled fish.
PCBs are industrial chemicals once used as coolants and lubricants in electrical transformers and capacitors. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency banned PCBs in 1979, but items containing PCBs did not have to be replaced. PCBs degrade slowly in the environment.
Long-term consumption of PCBs may cause cancer and reproductive, immune system, developmental and liver problems. According to DSHS standards, PCB levels in fish above 0.047 parts per million (ppm) may pose a health risk to humans. PCB levels in the sampled fish averaged 0.307 ppm and were as high as 1.547.
Ellison Creek (also known as Bruton's Creek) Reservoir is a 1,516-acre impoundment of Ellison Creek, also known as Lone Star Lake. The reservoir is west of the town of Lone Star in southern Morris County in Northeast Texas.
( News media: for more information contact Michael Tennant, DSHS Seafood and Aquatic Life Group, 512-834-6757; or Emily Palmer, DSHS Assistant Press Officer, 512-458-7400.)