A marine biotoxin that causes diarrhetic shellfish poison (DSP) has been detected at unsafe levels in shellfish in Budd Inlet in Thurston County. As a result, the Washington Department of Health and the Thurston County Public Health and Social Services Department have closed all of Budd Inlet to recreational shellfishing from inner Budd Inlet to Boston Harbor and the tip of Cooper Point. -30-
Shellfish sampled from Budd Inlet contained DSP biotoxin at levels above the safety limit of 16 micrograms per 100 grams established by the Washington State Department of Health.
Warning signs have been posted at public beaches alerting people not to collect shellfish due to the biotoxin closure. Existing permanent swimming and shellfish harvest closures due to pollution in inner Budd Inlet and near wastewater treatment plant outfalls remain in effect.
DSP symptoms can begin from 30 minutes to 12 hours after eating contaminated shellfish causing nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, with diarrhea being the most commonly reported symptom. Most symptoms subside within 72 hours.
DSP biotoxins are produced by naturally occurring algae, and can accumulate in shellfish, making the shellfish unsafe to eat. Marine biotoxins are not destroyed by cooking or freezing. Shellfish harvested commercially that are available in stores and restaurants are tested for toxin prior to distribution, and are safe to eat.
A map of shellfish closures