Targeted EPA Fish Tissue Contamination Studies
EPA investigates the presence of chemicals in fish for which the risk to human health and the environment is unknown. These include contaminants of emerging concern such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products, perfluorinated compounds (used in a wide variety of household and industrial products) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (widely used as flame retardants).
For more information about what EPA is doing to improve our understanding on a number of contaminants in addition to the fish tissue studies associated with the National Aquatic Resource Surveys, refer to the following fact sheets and studies.
Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs)
- Contaminants of Emerging Concern in Fish: Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PDF) (4 pp, 2 MB, About PDF) (September 2013)
Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl compounds or PFAS (formerly called perfluorinated compounds or PFCs)
- Contaminants of Emerging Concern in Fish: Perfluorinated Compounds (PDF) (3 pp, 2 K, About PDF) (September 2013)
Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs)
- Contaminants of Emerging Concern in Fish: Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PDF) (3 pp, 2 MB, About PDF) (September 2013)
- Pilot Study of Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products in Fish Tissue (2006‐2008)
EPA initiated the Pilot Study of Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) in Fish Tissue in 2006. This study investigated the occurrence of PPCP chemicals in fish tissue at several stream locations across the country. EPA partnered with Baylor University to conduct the study from 2006‐2008 and to publish the study results in 2009.
Mercury and Selenium
- Final Database Data - Mercury and Selenium Levels in Fish at Selected Mercury Advisory Sites (2007-2008) (Excel)(2 pp, 61 K)
EPA collected and analyzed fish during 2007-2008 to assess levels of mercury at 95 randomly selected mercury advisory sites within the continental United States using a statistically based, regionally stratified design, where sites represented all major regions of the country. Methods established in EPA’s Guidance for Assessing Chemical Contaminant Data for Use in Fish Advisories were used to collect and analyze fish fillet tissue for total mercury. Site samples comprise three composites of five fish per composite. Total selenium was also measured and is included in the dataset.
Great Lakes Environmental Database (GLENDA)
- Great Lakes Environmental Database
EPA’s Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO) collects environmental data on a wide variety of constituents in water, biota, sediment, and air. GLENDA was designed to include data from four subject areas - project/organization, station/location, field monitoring activities, and results - and to provide the data capabilities for mass balance modelers and other potential users of Great Lakes data.