A new study conducted on locally caught fish throughout the United States found high levels of perfluoroalkyl substances of PFAS. The findings, which were published in the Environmental Research multidisciplinary journal, could severely effect human health, authors of the study said.
The study concluded that “even one serving could contain levels 2,400 times greater than what’s recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).”
“The extent that PFAS has contaminated fish is staggering,” Nadia Barbo, the project’s lead researcher, said. “There should be a single health protective fish consumption advisory for freshwater fish across the country.”
PFAS are man-made chemicals used since the 1950s in both industry and consumer products such as non-stick cookware, water-repellent clothing, stain resistant fabrics and carpets, some cosmetics, some firefighting foams, and products that resist grease, water, and oil. Studies have linked “forever chemicals” to different types of cancer, low birth weights, a weakened immune system, liver damage, and gestational diabetes along with other health complications.
“PFAS do not disappear when products are thrown or flushed away,” Dr. Tasha Stoiber, co-author of the study, said. “Our research shows that the most common disposal method may end up leading to further environmental pollution.”
Researchers found that PFAS levels in freshwater fish were higher in the Great Lakes and urban areas, Causes.com reported. The study also said that the average amount of PFAS in freshwater fish was 280 times greater than found in some commercially sold fish.
“People who consume freshwater fish, especially those who catch and eat fish regularly, are at risk of alarming levels of PFAS in their bodies,” Dr. David Andrews, leader of the study, said.