A recent study found that eating just one serving of freshwater fish per year could have the same effect as drinking water that has been heavily contaminated with “enduring chemicals” for a whole month.
The study, which was published on Tuesday in Environmental Research, found that a comparable month’s worth of water would be contaminated at levels 2,400 times higher than those advised by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) drinking water health recommendations.
According to the research, per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS), which are sometimes called “enduring chemicals” because they tend to stay in the environment and the body, are found in locally caught freshwater fish much more than in commercially caught fish.
PFAS are essential components of numerous home items, including some forms of food packaging, industrial effluent, jet fuel firefighting foam, and many more things. They have contaminated fish that live in nearby streams as well as irrigated crops for many years. They have also leached into drinking water sources.
The study found that eating fish has long been known to expose people to PFAS.
Tuesday’s study is the first to link American fish consumption to blood levels of PFAS and compare PFAS levels in freshwater fish with those in samples of commercial seafood, according to the authors.