Lake Macquarie cadmium levels “concerning”

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IMud Lake Macquarie crabs contain concerning levels of cadmium, a report has found (image: Ben Diggles).

CONCERNING levels of the heavy metal cadmium has been found in crabs living in Lake Macquarie, north of Sydney, a report obtained under freedom of information from the NSW Environment Protection Authority has revealed.

According to an article on the ABC website, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) undertook a large scale study of seafood in the lake last year, testing for PFAS chemicals and heavy metals.

The Hunter Community Environment Centre obtained the testing reports under freedom of information and shared them with the ABC.

The raw data revealed cadmium levels in crabs was high across the north of the lake, where the past Pasminco lead and zinc smelter operated, and in the south-west of the lake, where the power stations are located.

The EPA risk assessment said the safe number of giant mud crab servings a week is zero. And for blue swimmer crabs, the number is zero for children and one 150-gram serving for adults per week.

“The bottom-dwelling organisms are absorbing the cadmium in the sediment to such an extent that it’s becoming unhealthy to eat,” said Paul Winn from the Hunter Community Environment Centre.

“And this has not been communicated to the public.

“The EPA have glossed over it, they didn’t reveal the detail, the report hasn’t been released yet.”

You can read the full report HERE.

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