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The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has issued an emergency “Do Not Eat” fish advisory for all fish in Beaver Dam Pond and Helmer Creek in Springfield in Calhoun County due to perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS).

The department said bluegill filets tested from Beaver Dam Pond as part of the state’s perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) efforts were found with high levels of PFOS. PFOS is a specific PFAS.

The advisory extends to all all fish, regardless of size, in both waterways.

The advisory does not extend to the Kalamazoo River. For Eat Safe Fish guidelines for the river, go to Michigan.gov/eatsafefish. 

Touching the fish or water and swimming in the waters is not considered a health concern, a state release said. A state news release issued Friday recommends avoiding foam that forms on the pond or creek because foam may have higher amounts of PFAS than the water and coonuld be a health risk, especially if swallowed. Wash after touching foam with PFAS, the state said.

For guidelines on PFAS contamination in fish, go to Michigan.gov/pfasresponse. 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has ordered the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to develop water-quality standards for PFAS substances. Known as "forever chemicals," PFAS are used to create nonstick surfaces for products such as firefighting foam, Scotchgard, Teflon and food wrappers. They are associated with health risks such as thyroid disease, increased cholesterol, and kidney and testicular cancers.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lists health advisory levels for PFAS as 70 parts per trillion, but some have argued for stricter standards. 

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