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DHHS Issues Health Advisories for Dan River Area

Media Advisory

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Contact: news@dhhs.nc.gov
              919-855-4840

Raleigh, N.C. - The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services' Division of Public Health is issuing two health advisories related to the recent coal ash spill in the Dan River in Eden. The advisories address concerns associated with human exposure and consumption of fish and shellfish.

Recreational Water Advisory
Because the Duke Power-Eden coal ash spill is located in North Carolina's portion of the Dan River, a potential hazard exists immediately downstream of the release. Therefore, the DHHS Division of Public Health recommends that people avoid recreational contact with water and sediment in the Dan River in North Carolina downstream of the Duke Power-Eden spill site.

DHHS also recommends that people do not contact submerged or floating coal ash, or ash washed up on the riverbank. Direct contact with the water or sediment may cause skin irritation. Wash skin that has been exposed to the water or sediment with soap and water. The Department will continue to monitor data as it becomes available to identify when health risks are no longer a concern.

Fish and Shellfish Consumption
Because the Duke Power-Eden coal ash spill is located in North Carolina's portion of the Dan River , a potential hazard exists immediately downstream of the release. The DHHS Division of Public Health recommends that people not consume any fish or shellfish collected from the Dan River in North Carolina downstream of the Duke Power-Eden spill site.

DHHS is working with other agencies to collect fish downstream of the spill and will evaluate the data from fish samples as it becomes available to identify when health risks associated with eating the fish are no longer a concern.

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