Your ‘Healthy’ Fish Is Forever — As In It’s Full of ‘Forever’ Chemicals

Your ‘Healthy’ Fish Is Forever — As In It’s Full of ‘Forever’ Chemicals

Here’s something truly fishy on every possible level: New research warns that locally caught fish are also potentially full of toxic “forever chemicals” that have been linked to serious conditions like kidney disease, certain cancers, reproductive and developmental problems in children, reduced vaccine efficacy and a suppressed immune system. 

Yeah, that’s all.

Chemical additives known as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS and PFOS, were commonly used in the 1950s to make nonstick cooking products and sprays that were resistant to grease and stains (a la Scotchgard). Unfortunately, these products leaked chemicals into the water supply that weren’t able to be broken down. And while certain PFAS have been phased out in the U.S., others remain.

Besides, even if we don’t drink such contaminated water, fish certainly will, not knowing any better. In this specific study, researchers found that the amount of forever chemicals in freshwater fish was 280 times higher compared to commercially caught fish. According to the Environmental Protection Agency and Food and Drug Administration, it would take eating store-bought fish every day for a year to get the same amount of chemicals as you would when eating a single meal of freshly caught fish.

“People who consume freshwater fish, especially those who catch and eat fish regularly, are at risk of alarming levels of PFAS in their bodies,” David Andrews, lead author of the study and senior scientist at the Environmental Working Group (EWG), explained in a statement. “Growing up, I went fishing every week and ate those fish. But now when I see fish, all I think about is PFAS contamination.”

That said, the greatest concentration of forever chemicals were PFOS, and the fish that were the most contaminated included several types of bass and catfish. “These test results are breathtaking,” added Scott Faber, EWG’s senior vice president for government affairs. “Eating one bass is equivalent to drinking PFOS-tainted water for a month.”

It almost makes you nostalgic for mercury poisoning.

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