State officials are warning people not to eat fish caught in a stretch of a western Pennsylvania river after tests found extremely high levels of a potentially dangerous chemical.
Environmental protection officials issued the blanket warning Monday for all fish caught in the Shenango River in Mercer and Lawrence counties after previously advising people to stay away from certain species.
Officials say tissue samples of the fish had high levels of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs. In some cases, the results were 10 times higher than the threshold for issuing a consumption advisory. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, PCBs were widely used as coolants, but are no longer produced in the U.S. They have been known to cause cancer in animals and can cause skin reactions in adults, and have more serious effects on children.
Officials say the most recent tests by water companies did not show contamination in the water itself, but the companies agreed to increase the frequency of testing to ensure the safety of drinking water.