Fish Consumption

History of Fish Consumption Work at UW SRP

The UW SRP has been involved in many activities related to fish contaminants and fish advisories over the past two decades. Examples include:

  • Currently working with Region 10 EPA and ATSDR to address healthy fishing in the Lower Duwamish Waterway Superfund site. Segments of the Record of Decision focus on subsistence fishers and protecting human health. The Core is communicating with Just Health Action, which just completed two fisher studies in the LDW and is now working with Washington State Fish and Wildlife on common interests.
  • Dr. Burbacher (director of the RTC and CEC) contributing to the 2015 ‘NIEHS Advancing Environmental Justice- Contributions of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Division of Extramural Research and Training to Environmental Justice: 1998-2012
  • Dr. Burbacher, working with colleagues from the UW Biostatistics Department in 2012 to provide an independent review of government sponsored statistical analyses of dietary and national and state fish consumption data for the Washington State Department of Ecology.
  • Co-hosting the 2009 Tribal Rights & Fish Consumption Workshop: Issues and Opportunities for the Pacific Northwest  with Oregon State University and the UW Institute for Risk Analysis and Risk Communication  (download the agenda here)
  • Assisting  with a ‘King County Environmental Justice Needs Assessment’ focusing on neighborhood communities to determine what environmental health concerns were most relevant to recent immigrants and refugee populations in 2004. The effort was supported by a range of project partners, agencies and community coalitions, including the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition.
  • Working with local youth groups to collect recipes from community members for the cookbook– Good Food from the Sea, was produced in 2003. It featured a focused message about how to balance the nutritional benefits of fish with reducing exposure to fish contaminants by choosing and preparing fish wisely.
  • Helping develop a two-day ‘Community-based Solutions for Environmental Justice Conference’. The 2002 event focused on urban and rural environmental justice concerns, including specific indigenous and ethnic community issues. The UW SRP session was entitled ‘Building Effective Community/University Partnerships.
  • Cohosting a community reception for the Annual Meeting of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC), a federal advisory committee of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in Seattle in 2001. EPA had requested that NEJAC address issues concerning the relationship between fish consumption, water quality, and environmental justice at their Seattle meeting. A report titled ‘Fish Consumption and Environmental Justice’ was published as a result of the meeting.
  • Dr. Burbacher focused his early research on the reproductive and developmental effects of prenatal exposure to methylmercury. As a result, in 2000 he was appointed to be a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) review panel that was charged with evaluating the proposed change in the EPA Reference Dose for methylmercury.