PFAS “Forever Chemicals” Contaminating Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River Fish

Published on: 2023/01/24 - in Science & Tech

A recent U.S. study has revealed alarmingly high levels of “forever chemicals” in freshwater fish in the Great Lakes region. The chemicals, known as PFAS, are a class of thousands of compounds that do not break down and have been found to be contaminating fish in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.

PFAS, or perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, were found in 100% of waterways tested in Northern New York last year. The health implications and complex chemistry of these chemicals are similar to those of DDT, PCBs, and mercury in the 1970s. However, while those chemicals were eventually regulated and are still being removed from the environment, PFAS chemicals are not currently regulated.

The producers of these chemicals and regulators are well aware of the significant threat that forever chemicals pose to the health of our waterways, drinking water, and families. However, until now, little has been done to address this problem.

Save The River / Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper is working to inform the public about the impact of these chemicals on our local ecosystems and is advocating for stricter regulation of these forever chemicals. To learn more about PFAS chemicals and where they come from, visit Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper’s blog post.

Image: Save The River / Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper