The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has issued an emergency ‘Do Not Eat’ fish advisory for 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 PFOs. Today’s ‘Do Not Eat’ advisory replaces previous mercury and PCB guidelines that recommended consumption limits for fish from the Huron River.
Fish from Kent Lake in the Huron River were tested for PFOs. Elevated levels of PFOs were found in all fish filets tested. As a result, MDHHS is issuing a ‘Do Not Eat’ advisory for all fish from the Huron River at Milford (Oakland County) to the Huron River at the Livingston and Washtenaw county border. This includes Hubbell Pond, Kent Lake, Strawberry and Zukey Lake, Gallagher Lake, Loon Lake, Whitewood Lakes, Base Line and Portage Lakes.
Fish tested from these water bodies were found to have high level of PFOs resulting in the ‘Do Not Eat’ advisory. Fish filets were tested as a result of the state’s PFAs effort. The advisory relates to the state’s work to address perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAs), as well as perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOs).
Touching the fish or water and swimming in these water bodies is not considered a health concern as PFAs, which includes PFOs, do not move easily through the skin. An occasional swallow of river or lake water is also not considered a health concern.
MDHHS releases annual Eat Safe Fish Guides in the Spring, and emergency advisories, as needed. The Eat Safe Fish guidelines are set to be protective for everyone including children and pregnant and breastfeeding women, and people with existing health problems such as cancer or diabetes. Michigan has been routinely testing fish filets for PFAS since 2012.