Toxic Forever Chemicals Can Reach Your Plate Through Freshwater Fish!

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Credit: Gregor Moser/ unsplash

Eating one freshwater fish caught in a river or lake in the United States is the equivalent of drinking a month’s worth of water contaminated with toxic “forever chemicals,”. The invisible chemicals, called PFAS, were first developed in the 1940s to resist water and heat and are now used in items such as non-stick pans, textiles, fire suppression foams and food packaging.

Stricter Regulations

There have been growing calls for stricter regulation for PFAS, which have been linked to a range of serious health issues including liver damage, high cholesterol, reduced immune responses and several kinds of cancer. To find out PFAS contamination in locally caught fish, a team of researchers analyzed more than 500 samples from rivers and lakes across the United States between 2013 and 2015. The median level of PFAS in the fish was 9,500 nanograms per kilogram, according to a study published in the journal Environmental Research.

Nearly three quarters of the detected “forever chemicals” were PFOS, one of the most common and hazardous of the thousands of forms of PFAS. Eating just one freshwater fish equaled drinking water with PFOS at 48 parts per trillion for a month, the researchers calculated.

Heavily Contaminated

David Andrews, a senior scientist at the non-profit Environmental Working Group, which led research, told Agence France-Presse he grew up catching and eating fish. “I can no longer look at a fish without thinking about PFAS contamination,” said Andrews, one of the study’s authors. “This research makes me incredibly angry because companies that made and used PFAS contaminated the globe and have not been held responsible.” Andrews called for much more stringent regulation to bring an end to all non-essential uses of PFAS. The study comes after Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden submitted a proposal to ban PFAS to the EU’s European Chemicals Agency. 

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Source: CBSnews

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