“In this case, (people) might think twice about eating fish and seafood out of Escambia Bay. It really is a matter of risk-a personal health risk,” Dick Snyder says. Snyder is director of the Center for Environmental Diagnostics and Bioremediation and a biology professor at the University of West Florida.
Snyder conducted the research with UWF’s Ranga Rao. Both of the researchers hold Ph.D.s in Zoology.
Snyder’s and Rao’s latest report on 21 different fish from Escambia Bay shows chemicals in each of them exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s allowable level for the probable carcinogens. A mullet sample was also more than 30 times higher than Florida’s threshold for the chemicals.
The contaminants are called PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls. They are man-made chemicals that were banned in manufacturing in the United States in the late 1970s because of their harmful effects on human health through their buildup in the environment.