NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) is warning community members in both Davidson County and Cheatham County to avoid or limit consumption of Cheatham Reservoir catfish.

According to TDEC, a routine check discovered high levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the catfish species. These chemical compounds are commonly used in industrial applications and can pose a threat to everyone, especially certain groups.

TDEC advises all pregnant women, nursing mothers and children to not eat the fish. All others should only consume it once a month.

Researchers said PCBs will affect the fish for decades, but it is safe to participate in recreational activities like catch-and-release fishing, swimming, kayaking, and boating.

“There was no reason why we were thinking this would be there, but we just found it in the fish,” TDEC Environmental Manager Richard Cochran said. “They were the perfect lubricant to put in industrial devices because they don’t break down.”

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Cochran added that PCBs are devastating for the environment.

TDEC is posting signs at primary public access points and advises everyone to avoid or limit eating the fish found in the Cheatham Reservoir. To learn more about the advisory, click here.