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Eating one fish from a U.S. lake or river is like drinking a month’s worth of polluted water

Eating one freshwater fish caught in U.S. rivers and lakes is the equivalent of drinking a month’s supply of water contaminated with toxic “eternal chemicals,” a new study announced Tuesday. bottom.

Invisible chemicals called PFAS were first developed in the 1940s to resist water and heat, and are now used in nonstick pans, fabrics, fire-fighting foams, food packaging, and more.

However, the immortality of PFAS, perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances means that pollutants have accumulated in air, soil, lakes, rivers, food, drinking water and even our bodies.

There is growing demand for tighter regulation of PFASs, which are linked to a variety of serious health problems, including liver damage, high cholesterol, a weakened immune response, and several types of cancer.

To look for 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.

According to a study published in the journal Environmental Research, the median level of PFAS in fish was 9,500 nanograms per kilogram.

Nearly three-quarters of the “forever chemicals” detected are PFOS, and among the thousands of forms of PFAS, it is one of the most common and dangerous.

Researchers calculated that eating just one freshwater fish was equivalent to drinking water with 48 ppt of PFOS for a month.

Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency lowered the level of PFOS in drinking water considered safe to 0.02 ppt.

Total PFAS levels in freshwater fish were 278 times higher than those found in commercial fish, the study said.

David Andrews, a senior scientist with the nonprofit Environmental Working Group who led the study, told Agence France-Presse that he grew up catching and eating fish.

“I can no longer look at fish without thinking about PFAS contamination.

The findings are “particularly concerning for the impact on disadvantaged communities that consume fish as a protein source or for social or cultural reasons,” he added.

“This study makes me incredibly angry because the companies that have produced and used PFAS have polluted the planet and are not being held accountable.”

Patrick Byrne, an environmental pollution researcher at Liverpool John Moores University in the UK, who was not involved in the study, said PFAS are “probably the greatest chemical threat facing humanity in the 21st century.” said.

“This study is important because it provides the first evidence of widespread transfer of PFAS directly from fish to humans,” he told AFP.

Andrews called for stricter regulation to end all non-essential use of PFAS.

The inquiry comes after Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden submitted a proposal to ban PFAS to the EU’s European Chemicals Agency on Friday.

The proposal, “one of the broadest in the history of the EU”, came after five countries realized that PFAS were not properly managed and bloc-wide regulation was needed. the agency said in a statement.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/pfas-forever-chemicals-one-fish-us-lakes-rivers-month-contaminated-water/ Eating one fish from a U.S. lake or river is like drinking a month’s worth of polluted water

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