Fish in two southeast Michigan rivers, the Huron River and the Rouge River, have been found to be loaded with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a group of toxic chemicals that have been linked to serious health problems.
PFAS are a class of human-made chemicals that are found in a wide range of products, including firefighting foam, non-stick cookware, and waterproof clothing. They are persistent in the environment and do not break down easily, which means they can accumulate in the food chain and persist in the environment for a long time.
The Huron River and Rouge River are popular fishing spots in southeast Michigan, and the discovery that the fish in these rivers are contaminated with PFAS has raised concerns among anglers and environmental advocates.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has issued a “Do Not Eat” advisory for all fish caught in the Huron River downstream of Kent Lake Dam, as well as in the Rouge River downstream of the Detroit River. The advisory includes all species of fish, including bass, catfish, carp, and walleye.
Exposure to PFAS has been linked to a number of health problems, including cancer, thyroid disease, and developmental problems in infants and children. PFAS can accumulate in the body over time, and even low levels of exposure can have harmful effects.
While the contamination of these rivers is a cause for concern, it is important to note that PFAS contamination is not limited to southeast Michigan. PFAS have been found in drinking water and other water sources across the United States, and the problem is only growing.
The discovery of PFAS contamination in southeast Michigan highlights the need for stronger regulations and better testing of water sources for these toxic chemicals. In the meantime, anglers and others who use these rivers for recreational purposes should follow the MDHHS’s “Do Not Eat” advisory to protect their health.
In conclusion, the contamination of fish in the Huron River and Rouge River with PFAS is a serious issue that highlights the need for better regulations and testing of water sources. The health risks associated with PFAS exposure are significant, and it is important for individuals to take precautions to protect their health until the issue is resolved.