The Green Gate
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Contamination of Fish from San Francisco Bay
Contamination of Fish from the Bay Poses Health Threat to Those Who Catch and Eat Them
Findings at a glance A broader view What you can do

Take action on the Bay Area's behalf -- and your own. Here are some ways you can help keep the bay healthy and avoid eating contaminated fish.

  • Heed fish advisories. Currently, only four bay fish -- salmon, anchovies, smelt, and herring -- are not subject to any health warnings about consumption. Eating other fish should be limited to one pound per month for adults; children under six and nursing or pregnant women should eat no more than half a pound of bay fish per month. For more detailed information visit the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment website.

  • Tell your state legislators to support comprehensive testing of bay fish, better methods for disseminating information about health risks, and clean-up of priority bay hot spots. See NRDC's Earth Action Center for contact information for your legislators.

  • Dispose of mercury safely. You can take mercury products, such as thermometers, to your local fire station for safe disposal.

  • Limit your use of toxic chemicals such as paint thinners and varnish removers, and always dispose of them properly -- never down the sink or in the street; call (800) CLEANUP to learn about safe disposal. Use natural cleaning products, such as vinegar and baking soda. Buy organic products to support farmers who do not use pesticides.

  • Drive less. You might not expect it, but pollution from vehicle emissions can wind up in the bay. To reduce fish contamination, choose alternatives to driving (public transit, biking, walking, carpooling) and bundle errands into fewer trips.

  • Learn more: For information about fish contamination, visit the websites of the San Francisco Estuary Institute and Save the Bay.

  • You'll find lots more Bay Area green-living tips in our Green Gate Green Guides. And to keep informed and take action on the latest issues affecting the Bay Area and the rest of California, join NRDC's California Activist Network.


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