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DHS Communications

New PFAS Fish Consumption Advisory Issued For Bay Of Green Bay And Associated Tributaries

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Department of Health Services (DHS) today announced a new PFAS-based consumption advisory for the Bay of Green Bay and its tributaries following results of fish sampling conducted in 2020.

Elevated levels of PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate), a type of PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), were detected in rock bass sampled from the Peshtigo River. As a result, the DNR and DHS recommend consuming only one meal per week for rock bass from the Bay of Green Bay and its associated tributaries up to the first dam. This includes portions of the Peshtigo, Oconto and Menominee rivers.

Low levels of PFOS were found in other species sampled from the Peshtigo River and Green Bay, but results were not high enough to warrant issuing new, more restrictive advisories.

PFAS are a group of human-made chemicals that have been used for decades in various products, such as non-stick cookware, fast food wrappers, stain-resistant sprays and certain types of firefighting foams that have made their way into the environment.

Health risks may increase when fish with high levels of PFAS are consumed. These can include increased cholesterol levels, decreased immune response, and decreased fertility in women, among other health effects. More information is available on the DHS website.

Following fish consumption advisories will help protect you from consuming excess PFOS, Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) and mercury. A complete list of up-to-date consumption advisories can be found in the DNR’s Choose Wisely booklet.

Additional fish consumption advice and information on the effects of PFAS can be found on the DNR’s website.