Analysis: "‘Forever Chemicals’ Contaminate America’s Freshwater Fish"

"Gone fishing? Depending on the lake, your catch may not be safe to eat.

A group of chemicals collectively known as PFAS are found in hundreds of consumer goods, including dental floss, rain jackets and nonstick cookware. Over decades, these chemicals have spewed from manufacturing plants and landfills into local ecosystems, polluting surface water and groundwater, as well as the wildlife living there.

PFAS, or perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are called “forever chemicals” because they don’t break down quickly in the environment, instead accumulating in soil, water, fish and our bodies. Hundreds of military bases have been pinpointed as sources of PFAS leaching into nearby communities’ groundwater.

In 2022, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine published a sweeping federally funded report that associated PFAS exposure with health issues such as cancer, low birth weight and decreased responses to vaccines. ...

But some scientists worry that regulations for freshwater fish are lagging. A recent study from The Environmental Working Group found that just one serving of fish can be equivalent to a month of drinking water contaminated with 48 parts per trillion of the common chemical PFOS."

Hannah Norman reports for the Washington Post with research by McKenzie Beard January 4, 2024.

Source: Washington Post, 01/05/2024