A warning about fish from the Huron Chain from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
LANSING, MI – State health officials issued an emergency PFAS “Do Not Eat” fish consumption advisory Saturday Aug 4 for several water bodies on the Huron River within parts of Oakland, Livingston and Washtenaw counties.
It applies to all fish between the Huron River at Milford (Oakland County) to the Huron River at Base Line and Portage Lakes (Livingston and Washtenaw county lines) due to perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) contamination, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
The advisory issued Aug. 4 replaces previous mercury and PCB guidelines that recommend consumption limits for Huron River fish, per the MDHHS.
Fish from Kent Lake in the Huron River were tested for PFOS and elevated levels of PFOS were found in all fish filets tested, according to the MDHHS. Water bodies affected by the Aug. 4 advisory include Hubbell Pond, Kent Lake, Strawberry and Zukey Lake, Gallagher Lake, Loon Lake, Whitewood Lakes and Base Line and Portage Lakes.
The MDHHS reports fish filets were tested because of Michigan’s perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) effort. The advisory relates to the state’s work to address PFAS and PFOS.
Touching the fish or water and swimming in these water bodies is not considered a health risk, according to the MDHHS. PFAS, which includes PFOS, do not easily move through the skin. An occasional swallow of river or lake water is also not considered a health concern, the MDHHS states.
The department annually releases Eat Safe Fish Guides in the spring, and emergency advisories, as needed. The guidelines are set to be protective for everyone, including children and pregnant and breastfeeding women, and people with existing health problems including cancer and diabetes. The state has been routinely testing fish filets for PFAS since 2012, the MDHHS states.
More information including identified Michigan contaminated sites, water filtration, testing, and acceptable limits can be found here on Michigan.gov. Safe fish eating guidelines can be found here.
NOTE FROM PBWOA (Portage, Base, & Whitewood Owners Association): This contamination is NOT related to any weed control activities. It is occurring well above any treatment areas but has progressed downstream.