Look, we’re not trying to tell you what to do with your lives, but we have to talk: It’s time to tighten your belts and quit the Newtown Creek seafood habit. A new state study from the Department of Health (DOH) and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) suggests that eating things caught from a Superfund site waterway might not be the best idea—that means no more Channel catfish, no more gizzard shad, and definitely no more than six crabs a week. Seven and you’re dead to us.
If you’re a woman under 50 or a child under 15, you shouldn’t eat any fish from the toxic water, the study finds. And no more than one meal of goldfish a month. Researchers say that contaminant levels of Newtown Creek seafood would be similar to those of the East River, which includes PCBs and dioxin in fish, as well as cadmium, dioxin and PCBs in crab and lobster.
According to the DOH, kayaking and canoeing are cool as long as you don’t touch or submerge your head in the water. As for wind surfing and scuba diving…it’s probably better to save that for the kiddie pool in the backyard.
The study’s findings on the low health-risks associated boating would justify last year’s decision to build a Greenpoint boathouse. After the EPA declared Newtown Creek one of the most polluted sites in the country two years ago (and therefore worthy of federal funding) the Department of Environmental Protection temporarily shut down boating activities. The creek reopened for boating last spring, however, and in the fall, New York State approved the construction of the multi-million dollar project. City health officials had expressed concern over the possible health problems issuing from raw sewage in the creek, as well as the shared space with industrial ships, but local activists and politicians argued that the boathouse would be a positive, job-creating addition to the community, as well as a way for residents to “reclaim” waterfront access and a history of pollution. Reclaiming history is fine—just no more crabs. Seriously.
[via the Brooklyn Paper]