GenX could reside in fish and other marine life

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Even though he is worried about the water, Dr. Larry Cahoon says another worry on the GenX concerns menu is marine life.

“For marine life, the concern is primarily going to be bio-concentration. That is the accumulation of this compound and others like it. There’s a whole cocktail of them in the water,” Cahoon said.

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He believes this cocktail of chemicals in the Cape Fear river, could be going from fish to fish, up the food chain. He says the reason we haven’t seen how GenX affects the marine life is because the chemical could just be sitting in the fish, like with mercury.

“Mercury, pesticides, PCB’s, things like that, are all bio-accumulate. GenX should behave the same way and that’s not good. Will it affect those animals? Hard to say. We’re talking about many species and we don’t have good data on them,” Cahoon said.

He just got his first fish test sample, an American shad, from The Cape Fear river.



“One of the things we’re actually trying to do as a research question is to get samples of fishes and other organisms, legally, to test their body tissues for GenX and other compounds,” Cahoon said.

He welcomes others to bring him fish from the river to test and wants to test catfish from the river.

“Any big catfish should be top of the food chain, should be bio-concentrating whatever is out there. If we can get those kinds of samples, that would tell us an awful lot of important information,” Cahoon said.

Cahoon says he has one other worry going forward.

“If we find any hot-spots, biologically, that’s a real concern, especially if they’re commercial species,” Cahoon said.