February 3, 2010
The Texas Department of State Health Services today issued an advisory
warning people to limit their consumption of blue catfish, crappie, flathead
catfish, largemouth bass and spotted bass from Alan Henry Reservoir in Garza and
The advisory was issued after laboratory testing showed elevated levels of
mercury in fish samples from the five species taken from the reservoir. Other
species such as channel catfish, common carp and freshwater drum were sampled
and are not included in the advisory.
Adults should limit consumption of the five fish species from Alan Henry
Reservoir to no more than two 8-ounce servings per month. Children under 12
years old and women who are nursing, pregnant or who may become pregnant should
not consume the five fish species from Alan Henry Reservoir.
Regular ingestion of methylmercury, the mercury compound in the fish, can
harm the human brain and nervous system. Young children are especially at risk.
The brain and nervous system in a developing fetus can be permanently damaged if
the mother-to-be eats foods containing elevated levels of mercury during
Mercury is a naturally occurring element that gets into air and water from
the weathering of the earth's crust, from the burning of fossil fuels and from
some industrial discharges and emissions.
Elevated levels of mercury in fish do not pose a health risk for people
swimming, fishing or participating in other water recreation activities in the
Alan Henry Reservoir.
Alan Henry Reservoir is a 2,884-acre body of water about 45 miles south of
the City of Lubbock.
(News Media Contact: Allison Lowery, DSHS Assistant
Press Officer, 512-458-7400.)
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