Read the full article by Jordan Andrews (Portland Press Herald)

“New research suggests that the amount of toxic ‘forever chemicals’ in some of Maine’s freshwater fish and shellfish might make them hazardous for consumption.

Most of the discussion in Maine around per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, has centered on farms, but the chemicals’ presence in the state’s freshwater fish has been known for at least a decade.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention is weighing whether to impose stricter standards and issue consumption advisories for PFAS in freshwater fish to better reflect the latest science. But the state CDC doesn’t directly regulate seafood products, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has yet to offer any guidance on safe levels of PFAS in shellfish or other seafood.

Any state consumption advisories likely would be along the same lines as those already in place for mercury levels in freshwater species in Maine lakes, ponds, rivers and streams. The warnings wouldn’t apply to seafood caught in the ocean or found in grocery stores.

PFAS are a class of over 4,000 manmade chemicals that have been used since the 1950s in industrial and household products such as waterproofing or anti-stick coatings and in firefighting foam. Exposure to PFAS can increase the risk of kidney and testicular cancer, lead to high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia in pregnant women, cause changes in liver enzyme levels, and decrease how well children respond to vaccinations.

The Maine CDC sets thresholds, or ‘action levels,’ over which it would consider issuing a consumption advisory for recreationally caught freshwater fish. Over the years, it has adjusted the action level for perfluorooctane sulfonate, or PFOS, the most commonly found and studied of these compounds, which now stands at 34 parts per billion.”…