Read the full article by Patrick Whittle (Time)
“(PORTLAND, Maine) — Wildlife agencies in the U.S. are finding elevated levels of a class of toxic chemicals in game animals such as deer—and that’s prompting health advisories in some places where hunting and fishing are ways of life and key pieces of the economy.
Authorities have detected the high levels of PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, in deer in several states, including Michigan and Maine, where legions of hunters seek to bag a buck every fall. Sometimes called ‘forever chemicals’ for their persistence in the environment, PFAS are industrial compounds used in numerous products, such as nonstick cookware and clothing.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency launched an effort last year to limit pollution from the chemicals, which are linked to health problems including cancer and low birth weight.
But discovery of the chemicals in wild animals hunted for sport and food represents a new challenge that some states have started to confront by issuing ‘do not eat’ advisories for deer and fish and expanding testing for PFAS in them.
‘The fact there is an additional threat to the wildlife—the game that people are going out to hunt and fish—is a threat to those industries, and how people think about hunting and fishing,’ said Jennifer Hill, associate director of the Great Lakes Regional Center for the National Wildlife Federation.
PFAS chemicals are an increasing focus of public health and environmental agencies, in part because they don’t degrade or do so slowly in the environment and can remain in a person’s bloodstream for life.
The chemicals get into the environment through production of consumer goods and waste. They also have been used in firefighting foam and in agriculture. PFAS-tainted sewage sludge has long been applied to fields as fertilizer and compost.” …