All the landcrabs collected have been sent by the Environmental Protection Agency to a private laboratory in Vermont for another round of testing which will determine the extent of polychlorinated biphenyl contamination in Tanapag village.
Results of the testing which the Division of Environmental Quality expect to be out by April 2000 will guide environmental officials on what actions to take in case the results would show high level of contamination.
Landcrabs were collected in four sites in the village and also in an independent site, the harbor across Kristo Rai Church in Beach Road, to serve as control area.
DEQ said STL Laboratory in Vermont has done extensive PCB tests on landcrabs. Public health and environment officials are waiting for the results of the landcrab testing so that they can modify the earlier health advisory issued to the community warning them against the consumption of landcrabs.
DPH has asked the people to refrain from eating land crabs caught in Tanapag area after preliminary sampling results showed that five of the eight land crabs surveyed were found contaminated with PCB.
While PCB levels in the land crabs are below the standard established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for fish, public health officials decided to issue the advisory as a precautionary measure.
The preliminary land crab consumption advisory issued by DPH was based on very limited and preliminary sampling results on land crabs caught in Tanapag village, in and around the vicinity of Cemetery 2, by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
DPH said the advisory will remain until such time that the results from a more extensive sampling are available.
The land crabs taken were among the samples of food gathered last May 2000 by EPA representatives as part of the assessment on food and the environment in the village. (LFR)