Warning issued against eating fish from James and New rivers

Some species in those rivers are contaminated with certain chemicals

ROANOKE, Va – The Virginia Department of Health advises against eating fish that are caught from the James River or the New River.

Some species in those two bodies of water are coming up contaminated with chemicals like polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs), dioxins, kepone or mercury. 

In other words, eating them could affect your health.

Some commonly observed health effects include skin conditions like acne or rashes, darkening of the skin, immune system not functioning properly, chest pain, negative cognitive and motor development, especially during infancy.

The World Health Organization claims that longer exposure of animals to dioxins has even resulted in several types of cancer.

While most of these fish have been limited to no more than two meals per month, several have been put on the DO NOT EAT list.

From James River, that's: glizzard shad, carp, blue catfish that are equal to or greater than 32 inches, and flathead catfish that are less than 32 inches. A warning has also been issued for the blue crab found in cities Portsmouth, Chesapeake and Norfolk.

Only one has been completely banned for consumption from the New River: Carp found in Giles, Montgomery, Pulaski, Tazewell counties and Radford city.

Here's an interactive map of fish consumption advisories by the VDH.