SOMERSET, Ky. _ High levels of mercury in some popular Lake Cumberland fish species have prompted a warning: You can catch 'em, state officials say, but eating them could be harmful to your health.
Mercury can cause nerve and brain damage in children under 6. It also can be passed from expectant mothers to unborn children, and to infants through breast milk. Much of the mercury that ends up in fish tissue comes from pollution, including emissions from coal-fired power plants. It's put into the air by smokestacks and drifts down as particles or is brought down by raindrops.
A new advisory for the lake and two smaller ones issued Tuesday ramps up an advisory for all state waterways that has been in place since April 2002. Lake Cumberland, which covers more than 38,000 acres in south-central Kentucky, is one of the state's most heavily visited lakes. Only a few lakes and rivers are tested each year, and other bodies of water could have fish with similar mercury levels, said Guy Delius, acting director of the state Division of Public Health Protection and Safety.
Read the full story at kentucky.com.