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Early Tests Indicate Motor Skills Unharmed In Consumers Of Tainted Fish

analyze. We've identified one aspect of nervous system function that seems not to be affected. But we saw what appeared to be a trend for the most highly exposed individuals to do more poorly, so we need to be cautious."

The findings initially showed slower times in hand-dexterity and hand-steadiness tests by the

fish-eaters, but after accounting for unrelated factors such as arthritis and medications, the differences dropped below statistical significance. The same tests will be repeated in three years. Meanwhile, the researchers are analzying tests of the subjects' memory, executive functions, and visual and spatial abilities.

PCBs and DDE have been the most commonly occurring contaminants in the Great Lakes. While their levels have dropped dramatically since 1970, they remain unacceptably high, according to health officials, who continue to issue advisories on fish consumption.

Working with Schantz are Harold E.B. Humphrey and Marvin L. Budd of the Michigan Department of Community Health; Anne M. Sweeney of the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston; Joseph C. Gardiner, Donna M. Gasior and K.R. Srikanth of the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University; and psychologist Robert J. McCaffrey of the State University of New York at Albany.


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Contact: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor
b-james3@uiuc.edu
217-333-5802
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
3-Jun-1997


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