Just Say No to Va. Blue Crab ‘Mustard'

Tests show high levels of PCBs

NORFOLK, Va. -- The Virginia Department of Health is warning people against eating the mustard-like portion of blue crabs found in the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River and its tributaries.

The "hepatopancreas" is the yellowish-green digestive part of the crab. Tests have shown levels of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, and dioxin that exceed the amount considered safe for long-term consumption. PCBs and dioxin are contaminants that usually build up in that part of the crab.

Tests also show elevated PCB levels in the mustard-like portion of crabs taken from King Creek, a tributary of the York River.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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