Study: California lakes polluted with mercury, PCBs |

Study: California lakes polluted with mercury, PCBs

SACRAMENTO ” A new state study shows that 131 of 152 fishing lakes surveyed in California show levels of pollutants that exceed state standards.

The State Water Resources Control Board says the two pollutants of greatest concern are mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs.

The study found 26 percent of fishing lakes surveyed in 2007 had at least one species with unsafe levels of mercury. It says mercury contamination comes from the state’s mining legacy.

PCBs are chemicals once used in electrical and industrial manufacturing that are now banned. The study found 36 percent of lakes surveyed had a fish with levels of PCBs that exceed state standards.

Officials say the results released Monday are the first-year results of a two-year survey of the state’s 9,000 lakes.

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