Resources, Reports and Technical Information
Fish Consumption Advisory Program Guideline Development
Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Safe-Eating Guidelines are developed to help consumers to minimize their exposure to contaminants in fish while promoting the benefits of eating fish. The developing fetus and child, and people who eat a lot of fish that are high in contaminants are most likely to be harmed from exposure to contaminants in fish.
Through the Minnesota’s Fish Contaminant Monitoring Program (FCMP) (PDF), MDH works in partnership with the Minnesota Departments of Natural Resources (DNR), Agriculture (MDA) and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to select lakes and rivers for fish collection and analysis.
Using FCMP data, primarily for Mercury and PCBs, MDH develops science-based fish consumption guidelines that encourage people to eat fish while keeping their exposure to contaminants in fish below a level that could cause adverse health effects. MDH uses U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) data on mercury in fish to determine consumption guidelines for purchased fish.
Fish consumption guidelines are developed following protocols developed by the Great Lakes Consortium for Fish Consumption Advisories and risk assessment methods developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
- Protocol for a Uniform Great Lakes Sports Fish Consumption Advisory (PDF)
- A Protocol for Mercury-based Fish Consumption Advice (PDF)
- An Addendum to the 1993 "Protocol for a Uniform Great Lakes Sports Fish Consumption Advisory"
- Best Practice for Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) Guidelines (PDF)
- Meal Advice Categories (PDF)
- Contaminant concentrations corresponding to meal advice categories
- U.S. EPA Guidance for Assessing Chemical Contaminant Data for Use In Fish Advisories
MDH communicates the resulting Safe-Eating Guidelines through various media and targeting several audiences. These outreach efforts enable the public to make choices about which fish to eat and how often.
- Fish Consumption Advisory Program Outreach
- Fish Consumption Educational Outreach for Hmong Community (2009)
- Updating Minnesota's Fish Consumption Educational Outreach for the Hmong Community (PDF) - Executive Summary
- Building on Existing Knowledge: Updating Minnesota's Fish Consumption Educational Outreach for the Hmong Community (PDF) - Full Report
- Talk about Fish and Way of Eating Fish: Evaluation of a Community Health Education Video (PDF)
- Fish Consumption Guidance for Southeast Asians (PDF) - A historical summary of fish consumption outreach to Southeast Asians in Minnesota.
Fish Consumption Advisory Program Current Projects
- GLRI Fish Consumption Advisory Enhancement Grant
- GLRI Reducing Mercury Levels in Great Lakes Consumers in Minnesota Grant
Fish Consumption Advisory Program Technical Reports
In June 2004, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) conducted a mail survey of more than 1,400 Minnesota women who had given birth the previous month. MDH wished to learn three things from these new mothers: (1) How much fish and what kinds of fish they had eaten in the previous year; (2) how much they knew about mercury in fish; and (3) whether they had seen MDH brochures about fish consumption.