A study authored by the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit environmental health organization that analyzed data from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, alleges that a single serving of freshwater fish contains as much or more PFOS than a month's worth of drinking water. The chemical PFOS is part of a family of manufactured additives known as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, widely used since the 1950s to make consumer products nonstick and resistant to stains, water and grease damage. The study was published Wednesday in the journal Environmental Research.
The popular press and the scientific community agree that PFAS is everywhere. “More than 2,800 communities in the US, including all 50 states and two territories, have documented PFAS contamination,” said Dr. Ned Calonge, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Colorado School of Public Health and chair of the Academies committee that wrote the report. This is the case even though manufacturers agreed in the early 2000s to voluntarily stop using long-chain PFAS in US consumer products, and the use of PFOS and PFOA in food packaging was phased out in 2016 by the United States Food and Drug Administration.
So, everyone seems to agree that PFAS is a huge problem. What no one seems to have is a solution. I'm fairly certain that lawyers are going to be busy dealing with PFAS issues for decades. Beyond that, I fear there is no certainty.
Fish caught in the fresh waters of the nation’s streams and rivers and the Great Lakes contain dangerously high levels of PFOS, short for perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, a known synthetic toxin phased out by the federal government, according to a study of data from the US Environmental Protection Agency.