Population Health

January 6, 2022

Researchers find unsafe arsenic levels found in some south Puget Sound lakes, fish

Two hands holding a small fish in the water of a lakeResearchers at the University of Washington and UW Tacoma have been studying arsenic levels in lakes in the south Puget Sound region to assess possible health risks related to eating fish and other organisms from those lakes.

By assessing arsenic levels across multiple lakes at different depths, they found that sea life that lives in shallower lakes – such as snails, crayfish and sunfish – possess arsenic levels associated with increased cancer risks.

The research team is now working with the state Departments of Health and Ecology on how best to alert the public to possible health risks. They are also working on identifying possible approaches to reducing arsenic levels in the lakes to safer levels.

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