How can a hazardous waste release affect your community?

As a result of industrial activities along the Duwamish River in Seattle, Washington, NOAA is evaluating possible injuries to the benthic community (including flatfish) and salmon. (NOAA)
As a result of industrial activities along the Duwamish River in Seattle, Washington, NOAA is evaluating possible injuries to the benthic community (including flatfish) and salmon.

How can a hazardous waste release affect your community?

Fish and shellfish can ingest or inhale contaminants, or absorb them through their skin. This can cause a wide variety of negative impacts including:

  • Poor fish health: Fish can develop diseases and tumors due to chemical contamination of their environment.
  • Impacts to fish and shellfish: When a fish such as salmon, tuna, trout, and wallaye come into contact with contaminants, they cane lose their ability to reproduce or survive.
  • Habitat loss: Wetland, river, beach, coral, and underwater habitats can be contaminated, disturbed, or destroyed.
  • Impacts to local economies and recreation: Elevated levels of contaminants may prompt advisories that limit human consumption of fish and shellfish. These restrictions can impact the local economies that depend on these fisheries.