Residents are being advised not to eat any fish or shellfish caught in the Marine Corps Base Fuel Pier and Marina Area in Kaneohe.
The Department of Health posted the advisory after tests found unsafe levels of PCB’s, or polychlorinated biphenyls, in two species of goatfish.
PCB’s are man-made chemicals that were used in electrical and manufacturing equipment.
They were banned in 1976, but can remain in the environment for a long time.
Officials with the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps believe the chemical likely came from fluids in electrical transformers that may have leaked into the soil at the base’s salvage yard years ago.
Health officials say women planning a pregnancy and children are the most sensitive to P-C-Bs.
Fenix (Phoenix) Grange is the Program Manager for the D-O-H’s Hazard Evaluation and Emergency Response Office.
Grange says the chemical is localized to a small area of Kaneohe Bay, and should not affect fish or shellfish elsewhere in the bay.
She adds the Navy and Marine Corps are still investigating the incident and are commencing clean-up efforts.
Residents can still fish on the base, but is strictly catch and release.
For more information on the health effects, you can call the DOH’s Toxicologist, Barbara Brooks at 808-586-4249 or email her at email@example.com.