OK Issues Mercury Poisoning Advisory for Eating Fish from Several Lakes

The A&M TeamPersonal Injury

The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality has discovered high levels of mercury in 16 lakes, forcing the state to issue advisories about eating fish that might contain this deadly toxin. The Department has advised people not to eat stripped bass at Lake Broken Bow and not to eat white bass at McGee Creek Lake. The Department has also declared about a dozen other fish as having unsafe mercury levels. Mercury is a dangerous and potentially deadly toxin, so it is important that Oklahomans know what to do to protect their health and their legal rights. If you have fallen ill and suspect mercury poisoning, contact ou rpersonal injury attorneys in OKC today.

WHAT FISH ARE DANGEROUS TO EAT IN OKLAHOMA

For the sensitive population of women who are of childbearing age, pregnant or nursing mothers, and children under the age of fifteen, there is a consumption advisory for:

Largemouth Bass – Atoke Lake, Boomer Lake, Broken Bow Reservoir, Draper Lake, Elmer Thomas Lake, Hugo Lake, Kaw Reservoir, Lake Heyburn, McAlester City Lake, McGee Creek Reservoir, Pine Creek Reservoir, Quanah Park Lake, Rush Lake, Sardis Lake, Wister Lake
Spotted Bass – Atoke Lake, Broken Bow Reservoir, Draper Lake, Kaw Reservoir, Pine Creek Reservoir
Flathead Catfish – Broken Bow Reservoir, Coalgate City Lake, Hugo Lake, McGee Creek Reservoir
Smallmouth Bass – Broken Bow Reservoir
White Bass – Broken Bow Reservoir, Hugo Lake, McGee Creek Reservoir, Pine Creek Reservoir
Walleye – Broken Bow Reservoir, Sardis Lake
Black Crappie – Hugo Lake, Pine Creek Reservoir
Blue Catfish – Hugo Lake
Common Carp – Lake Heyburn
Bluegill Sunfish – Lake Heyburn, Rush Lake
Channel Catfish – Lake Heyburn, McGee Creek Reservoir, Pine Creek Reservoir
White Crappie – Lake Heyburn, McGee Creek Reservoir, Pine Creek Reservoir
Saugeye – Pine Creek Reservoir
For the general population of men ages 15 and over and women who are past childbearing age, there is a consumption advisory for:

Largemouth Bass – Boomer Lake, Broken Bow Reservoir, Draper Lake, Elmer Thomas Lake, Hugo Lake, Kaw Reservoir, Lake Heyburn, McAlester City Lake, Pine Creek Reservoir, Quanah Park Lake, Rush Lake
Spotted Bass – Atoke Lake, Broken Bow Reservoir, Draper Lake, Kaw Reservoir, Pine Creek Reservoir
Flathead Catfish – Broken Bow Reservoir, Coalgate City Lake, Hugo Lake, McGee Creek Reservoir
Smallmouth Bass – Broken Bow Reservoir
White Bass – Broken Bow Reservoir, Hugo Lake, McGee Creek Reservoir, Pine Creek Reservoir
Walleye – Broken Bow Reservoir
Black Crappie – Hugo Lake, Pine Creek Reservoir
Blue Catfish – Hugo Lake
Channel Catfish – Lake Heyburn, McGee Creek Reservoir, Pine Creek Reservoir
White Crappie – Lake Heyburn, Pine Creek Reservoir
Saugeye – Pine Creek Reservoir
All people are advised not to eat stripped/hybrid bass from Broken Bow Reservoir white bass from McGee Creek Lake.

WHAT KIND OF TOXIN MERCURY?

Mercury is a metal and a toxin. It is found naturally in the environment but it is also produced by human production, such as in coal plants. Mercury can get into lakes and streams numerous ways, such as with rain water. When mercury gets into the water, it changes its form and becomes methylmercury and the fish in the water absorb the methylmercury. When the fish are caught and eaten, unsuspecting people may also be dining on toxic mercury.

WHAT CAN HAPPEN IF I’M EXPOSED TO MERCURY?

If you are an adult who has been exposed to mercury by eating contaminated fish, some of the symptoms you might experience are:

Impairment of Peripheral Vision
Disturbances in Sensations (This is usually described as a “pins and needles” feelings in the hands, feet and around the mouth)
Lack of Coordination of Movements
Impairment of Speech, Hearing, Walking
Muscle Weakness
Exposure to mercury can be especially dangerous for women who are pregnant or may become pregnant. Studies have shown that exposure to mercury in the womb can damage the fetus’ brain and nervous system. When a child has been exposed to mercury while in the womb, such as by a mother eating contaminated fish, the child can experience negative effects on:

Cognitive Thinking
Memory Attention
Language
Fine Motor Skills
Visual Spatial Skills
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE EATEN FISH IN OKLAHOMA CONTAMINATED WITH MERCURY?

The Department of Environmental Quality does not recommend you stop eating fish altogether. Rather, to reduce the amount of mercury you consume from fish, you can eat smaller fish and avoid eating fish that eat other fish, such as bass or flathead catfish.

But if you believe you have eaten fish contaminated with mercury and may be suffering from symptoms of mercury poisoning, contact a doctor immediately.

If you or someone you love has been endangered by consuming fish contaminated with mercury, Atkins & Markoff is here to help. Exposure to mercury can be dangerous now, but it also has long term consequences such as if you are pregnant or may become pregnant. You can protect your rights by contacting an Oklahoma City personal injury attorney at Atkins & Markoff.