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Environment & Climate Change

Officials expand testing of cancer-causing chemical in Lake St. Clair

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Carp in Lake St. Clair have the highest levels of PCB. Carp have levels that are 10 times what is considered safe.

State health and environmental officials are expanding the scope of their testing for PCB in fish in Lake St. Clair.

PCB is a toxic compound that was used in electrical and industrial equipment. The chemical was banned in the 70s for its toxicity.  

Joe Bohr is with the Department for Environmental Quality. He says while the PCB found in the fish is 10 times what is considered safe, the amount of PCB in Michigan’s waters is decreasing.  

The PCBs that are already in the water and in the animals in the water, fish primarily, they’ll be in there for quite some time. It’s gradually decreasing. We have data that show that PCBs in the fish around the state are gradually declining just as it dissipates and breaks down, essentially gets buried.

Testing will expand to canals that run south to Belle Isle and north toward Mount Clemens.

Emily Fox- Michigan Radio Newsroom