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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, June 27, 2016
Art Starry, Environmental Health Division Director, starrya@co.thurston.wa.us or at (360) 867-2587
Jane Mountjoy-Venning, Senior Environmental Health Specialist, venninj@co.thurston.wa.us or at (360) 867-2643

Shellfish Biotoxin Closure in Thurston County Expands
The closure has expanded to include beaches from Dana Passage to Johnson Point including all of Henderson Inlet

OLYMPIA - The shellfish harvest closure was expanded today to include all beaches from Dana Passage to Johnson Point, including all of Henderson Inlet. Beaches in Budd Inlet and Squaxin Passage, including Boston Harbor, also remain closed to all species of shellfish.

Diarrhetic shellfish poison (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 toxins prior to distribution, and are safe to eat.

Shellfish sampled from the expanded area contained DSP biotoxin at levels 40 micrograms per 100 grams, which is well above the safety limit of 16 micrograms per 100 grams established by the Washington State Department of Health.

Existing permanent swimming and shellfish harvest closures due to pollution in inner Budd Inlet and near wastewater treatment plant outfalls remain in effect.

Symptoms from DSP can begin from 30 minutes to 12 hours after eating contaminated shellfish. It causes nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, with diarrhea being the most commonly reported symptom. Most symptoms subside within 72 hours.

Before harvesting shellfish always check first for shellfish closures by calling the Washington State Department of Health 24 -hour Shellfish Safety Hotline: 1-800-562-5632, or visit the department's shellfish closure map: https://fortress.wa.gov/doh/eh/maps/biotoxin/biotoxin.html

Additional information about DSP: http://www.doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/Shellfish/BiotoxinsIllnessPrevention/Biotoxins/DiarrheticShellfishPoisoning



County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3