23 Feb 2006

High levels of toxic chemicals found in fish in Guam

10:18 am on 23 February 2006

High levels of toxic chemicals have been found in fish and soil samples taken from the Cocos Lagoon in Guam.

According to the newspaper the Marianas Variety, environmental and health officials say residents are not in immediate danger and that the situation is "not harmful enough" to impose a fishing ban.

The newspaper reports that samples, taken by the US Coast Guard, showed levels of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, up to 265 times higher than allowed by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

The Guam environment administrator Randy Sablan said at this point, because this was just a preliminary finding, it was prudent to be conservative.

Mr Sablan said it was appropriate to advise people to limit or avoid consumption of fish from the affected area.