The state is recommending that people limit eating fish from more water bodies in Maine after discovering high levels of forever chemicals in the fish.
The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention issued freshwater fish consumption advisories on Thursday recommending that people limit eating all fish or certain fish from six water bodies in Maine, covering streams, lakes, ponds and rivers in Albion, China, Fairfield, Limestone, Sanford and Thorndike.
The advisories add to existing advisories — for water bodies in the additional municipalities of Waterville, Oakland, Westbrook and Unity — bringing the total number of flagged locations to 11.
Species of fish in these water bodies contain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS, above Maine’s recommended levels for regular consumption.
Two of the new advisories, in Limestone and Sanford, represent an expansion of those issued last year.
For instance last year the state recommended people restrict their consumption of brook trout — and to eat no smallmouth bass — caught in Durepo Pond in Limestone and a portion of Limestone Stream. Now the Maine CDC is recommending people limit eating the brook trout — and still eat no smallmouth bass — in all of the pond and in the length of the stream from Durepo to the Canadian border.
The Maine Department of Environmental Protection tested the fish in water bodies located where historical PFAS contamination has been found in groundwater, surface water or the soil, the Maine CDC said.
Exposure to certain PFAS chemicals, which are a group of man-made chemicals found in a variety of consumer products, has been associated with changes in liver and kidney function, changes in cholesterol levels, decreased immune response to vaccines in children, complications during pregnancy, and increased risk of kidney cancer and possibly testicular cancer.
Other recreational activities, such as swimming, wading and boating, remain safe activities, the Maine CDC said.
People can see all existing fish consumption advisories here.