PFAS in Locally Caught Fish: Threats to health & environmental justice

January 31 , 1:00 pm 2:00 pm EST

Efforts to address PFAS contamination have been primarily directed at exposure from drinking water. However, a recent study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found high PFAS levels in locally caught freshwater fish across the United States.

Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), commonly known as “forever chemicals,” can be found in soil and water, in fish, and in our bodies. This study found that consuming just one serving of fish can be equivalent to drinking water contaminated with high levels of PFAS (48 parts per trillion) for a month.

PFAS are associated with human health harms, including cancer, heart disease, birth defects, liver disease, and decreased immunity. Rural and Indigenous communities, relying on freshwater fish as part of their traditional diet and culture, can be at higher risk from these health threats.

Many states have PFAS-related fish consumption advisories, but Alaska lacks regulations and health guidelines for PFAS contamination. Several lakes in Alaska have fish consumption warnings due to PFAS contamination from firefighting foam. PFAS exposure is a significant issue in Alaska also due to atmospheric transport and ocean currents carrying pollutants from all over the planet to the Arctic.

In this webinar, CHE-Alaska will host EWG’s Dr. Tasha Stoiber and ACAT’s Pamela Miller to discuss PFAS contamination in freshwater fish, and how it represents an environmental justice issue for communities that depend on locally caught fish for sustenance and traditional cultural practices.

Dr. Stoiber will present a recent study on PFAS contamination in freshwater fish across the country. Dr. Miller will discuss PFAS contamination and related legislation specific to Alaska.

October 26, 2023 , 6:30 pm 7:30 pm EDT

Join Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), ProtectPT, FracTracker Alliance, Environmental Health Project, and Halt the Harm Network for a live discussion of PSR’s report Fracking with “Forever Chemicals” in Pennsylvania.

What is the report on?

Based on publicly available oil and gas industry disclosures, PSR’s report details the risk of PFAS pollution from Pennsylvania’s oil and gas wells including risks from the disposal of millions of tons of liquid and solid waste associated with the wells. 

What are PFAS?

PFAS are a highly dangerous class of human-made chemicals known for their extreme toxicity, severe health effects, including cancer, and resistance to breaking down in the environment, leading to their nickname, “forever chemicals.” Private water wells in rural areas where most drilling and fracking are conducted may be at particularly high risk of contamination. Once contaminated, groundwater is particularly difficult to clean up. However, communities where oil and gas waste is taken for disposal that are located miles from drilling sites could also face risks from PFAS contamination.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) has indicated that for some types of PFAS, no amount in drinking water is safe.

August 23, 2023 , 4:00 pm 5:00 pm EDT

PEER supports many community organizations around the country. From Los Angeles to Nantucket, we have a strong network of grassroots community groups that come to us for technical assistance, legal advice, or to alert of us government malfeasance at the local level. The Nantucket PFAS Action Group has been a prominent and influential community organization that has brought attention to the dangers of PFAS contamination to the forefront in Nantucket. Learn from these community leaders about how to make actionable change in your community and bring attention to the most important issues facing your town. After the presentation, there will be a live Q&A with questions from the public. Join us!

July 18, 2023 , 12:00 pm 1:00 pm EDT

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are an emerging public health threat. Nicknamed the “forever” chemical, they have contaminated drinking water across the U.S. PFAS are toxic at extremely low levels, are highly persistent in the environment, and bioaccumulate in humans.

This Training Call will discuss the history of manufacturing of PFAS, their exposure routes, their impacts on human health, ways you can decrease your exposure, and legislation across the U.S that has recently developed to fight it. Additional focus will be on the PFAS issue in Wisconsin.