U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version

November 2007


Published in Human and Ecological Risk Assessment, 13: 1214–1227, 2007.


A fish consumption survey was developed and administered by telephone to 820 Wyoming fishing license holders. Survey respondents provided the frequency, species, and quantity of Wyoming-caught and store-bought fish consumed for license holder and household members. Deterministic and probabilistic methylmercury exposure distributions were estimated by multiplying fish consumption by species-specific mercury concentrations for each household member. Risk assessments were conducted for children, women of childbearing age, and the rest of the population by comparing methylmercury exposure distributions to levels of concern. The results indicate that probabilistic risk assessment likely provides a more realistic view of the risk to the study population. The results of this study clearly indicate that: (1) there is no level of fish consumption that is without risk of methylmercury exposure, (2) fish advisories may be warranted for children and women of childbearing age, and (3) that store-bought fish generally contribute more to methylmercury exposure than do Wyoming-caught fish.