PCBs in steelhead?


Active Member
Not that I have this as recurring concern, but reading all the reports about high PCB levels on salmon from the Sound, does that also apply to steelhead?


Rob Blomquist

Formerly Tight Loops
Yes, most likely, but there are no runs that stay in the Sound much, most go up to the Gulf of Alaska, where there is less pollution. Consequently, they have less exposure to PCBs, which are considered to be a world wide pollutant, as they are now found in Eskimos.

There was a pretty good article in this sundays Seattle paper addressing the PCB and pollutant thing. Actually PCB's are in nearly everything we eat and fish have in comparison low levels, and that even includes the farm raised fish.
Butter is so much higher in concentration levels that butter should have been the issue and not fish! Over all fish rate pretty low on the scale. Another case of hyped journalism in my opinion.



Active Member
Dave, was wondering how do PCBs reach such high levels in butter? Does that apply to other dairy products like ice cream and cheese?

Kent Lufkin

Remember when you could remember everything?
I'm not sure why, but I believe PCBs are concentrated in any form of mammal's milk. I was struck by the comment in the Times article that breast milk in Greenland should be considered toxic waste.

"A gentleman is someone who knows how to play the accordion, but doesn't." ~ Anonymous
As Fortuna points out PCB's concentrate in fat. So any dairy product with cream would have an elevated level of PCB's. Butter is churned cream and the better tasting ice cream in my opinion has a lot of cream, butter fat. I am not sure, but I would assume cheese has a pretty high cream content also.