By Scott Bolthouse—Hub Editor—ScottBolthouse@HuronHub.com
Fish from the Huron River are not safe to eat due to high PFAS levels, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
On Friday, the department issued an expanded “Do Not Eat” fish advisory for all fish in the Huron River in Livingston, Oakland, Washtenaw, Wayne, and Monroe Counties.
The original advisory was issued on Aug. 4 and has been expanded.
The Do Not Eat advisory for the Huron River starts where N. Wixom Road crosses in Oakland County and extends downstream to the mouth of the Huron River as it enters Lake Erie in Wayne County. This includes:
Norton Creek (Oakland County)
Hubbell Pond, also known as Mill Pond (Oakland County)
Kent Lake (Oakland County)
Ore Lake (Livingston County)
Strawberry & Zukey Lake (Livingston County)
Gallagher Lake (Livingston County)
Loon Lake (Livingston County)
Whitewood Lakes (Livingston County)
Base Line & Portage Lakes (Livingston/Washtenaw County line)
Barton Pond (Washtenaw County)
Geddes Pond (Washtenaw County)
Argo Pond (Washtenaw County)
Ford Lake (Washtenaw County)
Bellville Lake (Wayne County)
According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, PFAS are man-made chemicals that have been used in industry and consumer products worldwide since the 1950s. They have been used in non-stick cookware, water-repellent clothing, stain resistant fabrics and carpets, some cosmetics, some firefighting foams, and products that resist grease, water, and oil.
MDHHS says the warning is a result of new perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) fish data from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Base Line Lake and Argo Pond fish fillet data, downsteam from Kent Lake, were found to have high PFOS levels. Additionally, high PFOS surface water levels were found upstream of Kent Lake.
Officials say touching the fish or water and swimming in these water bodies is not considered a health concern as PFAS do not move easily through the skin.
An occasional swallow of river or lake water is also not considered a health concern.