Saturday, August 23, 2014

This Weekend In Snookland...Minister Polak The Selenium Fanatic.


It turns out that fish in the Mount Polley avalanche zone are showing elevated levels of snowflakes that are not normally considered safe for human consumption.


I'm sorry.

As an idiot blogger with no established credibility whatsoever, I confused 'selenium' with the good Mr. Bill Bennett's avalanchian 'snowflakes' for a moment there.

But not to worry.

Because, according to the Minister responsible for protecting British Columbia and British Columbians, this is normal for the area and, besides, we'd have to eat all kinds of fish bits before we'd be in any trouble:

...In a press conference on Friday, Environment Minister Mary Polak said people would have to eat one cup of fish liver and gonads every day to be affected by the selenium, which can increase the risk of heart problems and skin cancer at high doses...

But here's the thing...

What if you lived near the avalanche zone and you liked to catch and eat fish for years.

Would it be a cup of fish bits a day then before it caused permanent health problems as occurred in folks who consumed elevated selenium for long periods of time due to misformulated dietary supplements in the US recently?

And, one has to wonder, does Ms. Polak know the difference between, say, a selenide (low toxicity) and a selenite (high toxicity)?

And as for invertebrate food chains that fish and waterfowl consume in lakes and wetlands and all that?

No worries about order of magnitude lower levels being a longterm toxicity problem there, whatsoever.

Right Ms. Polak?

Oh, and there is one last thing that I'm pretty sure somebody in Snookland will tell us we shouldn't worry our pretty heads about someday soon... Which is that young salmon appear to be particularly susceptible to selenium-rich mosquito-based diets...You know, post-spawning food chain effects that don't matter one bit as well...



Don F. said...

I just want to thank Minister Polak for making dam good and sure the selenium goes right to the kidneys and gonads and leaves the rest of the fish alone.
Thanks Mary

G West said...

I think Ms Polak is moving well out of her pay grade with statements on science matters...Kinda like she did when she was trying to establish the rules for reading lists in Surrey Schools....I think that cost the Surrey School Board something south of a million dollars. As a health consultant she may be even more dangerous.
As a guardian of the environment, hopeless!