Read the full article by Laura Schulte (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

“A Marinette-based fire products company was ordered to test fish from public waters for ‘forever chemicals’ in its latest round of analysis of how the chemicals are affecting the surrounding communities. 

Elevated levels of the chemicals were found in the tissues of fish harvested from private ponds near the Tyco Fire Products property, prompting the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to ask for more testing, according to a release from the department. 

Preliminary data shows that elevated levels of PFOS are present in some of the samples. PFOS is one of a family of dozens of per- and polyfluoroalkyl compounds known collectively as PFAS.  

Sometimes called ‘forever chemicals,’ PFAS are used in industrial processes and manufactured goods, including firefighting foam. The chemicals have been linked to adverse health conditions in humans; they don’t break down in nature and are being increasingly detected in water, soil, humans and animals.

The fish collected from the ponds were tested for 36 PFAS compounds. Several different types of fish — including catfish, panfish, perch, bluegill and largemouth and smallmouth bass — were tested.

Many of the tests were inconclusive, the release said, because of issues during laboratory analysis. Fish tissue samples have also been sent to an alternative laboratory for analysis as well. 

Fraser Engerman, the director of global media relations for Johnson Controls, said the tests were inconclusive due to other compounds being found in the fish tissue.  

‘All of the preliminary tests were inconclusive because the results were clouded and impacted by the presence of non-PFAS compounds in the fish tissue,’ he said in an email Monday morning. ‘These compounds interfered with the precise measurement of PFAS, much like static that prevents listeners from hearing music being played on the radio.’

He said results from the second analysis should be finished and sent to the DNR in early November…”