United States
                     Environmental Protection
   Office of Water   EPA - 820-F-14-002
                        May  2014
            Analysis of U.S. Fish Consumption Rates
                    Based on NHANES 2003-2010
EPA is announcing a revised, peer reviewed
analysis offish consumption rates, entitled
Analysis of U.S. Fish Consumption Rates Based
on NHANES 2003-2010. EPA performed its
original analysis in 2000.

Fish consumption rates included in this revised
analysis reflect two significant changes to the
methodology: 1) new data from Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC)
National Health and Nutrition Examination
Survey (NHANES), survey cycles from 2003 to
2010, and 2) new, more accurate state-of-the-
science analyses.

In October 2000, EPA published a document
titled, Methodology for Deriving Ambient Water
Quality Criteria for the Protection of Human
Health. This document presented EPA's
recommended methodology for developing
ambient water quality criteria as required under
Section 304(a) of the Clean Water Act (CWA).

Since then, more recent data indicate that fish
consumption rates in the U.S. have increased. In
addition, new statistical analytical methods have
been developed. As a result, EPA conducted a
new analysis offish consumption rates.

What's Different About This Analysis?

New Data
The new analysis uses the most recent available
data from NHANES 2003-2010. NHANES is a
continuous survey that collects data on the
health and nutritional status of the U.S.
population. Each two-year cycle is designed to
be representative of the general U.S. population.
New Methodology
The new peer reviewed methodology is partly
based on a method developed in the mid-2000s
by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), to
estimate usual intake of episodically consumed
foods. This statistical method provides estimates
of usual daily intake rates representing the long-
term average grams offish consumed per day.
EPA modified the NCI method in order to
accommodate a national analysis of the
NHANES 2003-2010 data.

Broader Analysis
The new analysis includes estimates offish
consumption rates for more types offish and
subpopulations. This enables users of the data to
make more accurate estimates of human
exposure based on the population under study
and the kinds offish they consume.

New fish groups include marine fish,  freshwater
fish, estuarine fish, and several combinations of
these fish types.

Subpopulations for which estimates are now
available include youth (1 to 20 years), adults 21
years old or more, women of childbearing age
(13 to 49), as well as estimates by gender, race,
ethnicity, and income.

For More Information
Visit EPA's website at

You may also contact Jeff Bigler at (202) 566-
0389 or bigler.jeff@epa.gov.