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New fish consumption advisories for East Metro Lakes....

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PFOS present in fish in east metro lakes

by Lorna Benson, Minnesota Public Radio

August 16, 2007

St. Paul, Minn. — When the MPCA discovered PFOS in Lake Calhoun's bluegills the agency wondered if it was an isolated incident or if it represented more widespread PFC contamination. Agency staff quickly expanded their fish sampling - adding 30 lakes to their testing program. They also sampled more fish species including black crappies, largemouth bass and where they could find them, northern pike.

Paul Hoff, who supervises the unit that conducted the sampling, says the new findings have answered that initial question and they have raised others.

"I think what we can say here is the answer is that Calhoun is not alone in having some elevated levels of PFOS. But it's not also typical. We found a range of concentrations out of these first 10 lakes," he said

White Bear LakeFor example fish from three lakes - Bald Eagle, White Bear and Square Lake - had such low levels of PFOS that they didn't trigger a consumption advisory. But the black crappies and large mouth bass sampled from Lake Elmo far exceeded the levels of PFOS found in Lake Calhoun bluegills.

In the case of Lake Elmo, Hoff says it's located near 3M's former disposal site in Oakdale. 3M was the sole manufacturer of PFOS until 2002. The company stopped making the compound after discovering that it had distributed widely throughout the environment.

The Ramsey County lakes covered by the advisory are Como, Phalen, Gervais, Gervais Mill Pond, Round, Keller, Kohlman and Spoon. Besides Lake Elmo, the Washington County lakes affected are Olson, Ravine and Demontreville.

Hoff says most of these other lakes are not near known disposal sites. He says since PFOS was used in more than a dozen stain and water resistant products, it's likely that the chemical is still being used in manufacturing, commercial applications and agriculture.

"We do think that storm water conveyance systems, storm sewers and runoff in the surrounding watershed have something to do it. But a lot depends on the land use and what sort of activity takes place within those watersheds," he says.

But Hoff says he's not ready to rule anything out, including the possibility that the chemical has drifted down to the lakes from atmospheric emissions. People should not stop eating fish from metro lakes because of these latest tests, according to Pat McCann, with the Minnesota Department of Health. McCann says the guidelines are based on the assumption that people consume fish over a lifetime. Because PFOS affects different parts of the body than other chemicals like mercury, there is no evidence that it is more harmful in combination with those chemicals, she says.

"For example PFOS, it has an effect on the hormone levels, thyroid hormone levels or on cholesterol. Whereas mercury is a nervous system toxin, it affects your nervous system. And so those two chemicals react very differently in your body and they don't affect the same systems. So you wouldn't think that they would act in an additive kind of way."

The fish consumption advisories for the 12 east metro lakes range from one meal per week to one meal per month depending on the lake and the fish species. In general the advisory recommends only one meal a week for bluegills, black crappies and other sunfish and one meal per month for large mouth bass. But the guidelines are more restrictive for Lake Elmo where the PFOS concentrations are higher.

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2007/08/16/pfoslakes/?rsssource=1

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Well, I've eaten a few fish out of one of those lakes. I sure hope that itch on my forehead doesn't turn into a third eye... tongue.gif

Man, what are they going to find in the water next?

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I find it odd that they did not put Lake Jane on this list. A landfill that has the PFC’s in it is right next to Lake Jane. I wonder if the DNR tested any fish from Lake Jane? I just ate five crappies out of Lake Jane last week and I am not feeling too good! I think I need to see a doctor and a lawyer – just kidding.

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I'm generally a free market, pro-business kind of guy, but 3M ought to be hung out to dry for this.

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mpester,

I believe they did test Jane, but the lake is "upstream" of the landfill...at the landfill, both the surficial and groundwater movements are away from Jane, so it makes some sense to me that they didn't discover elevated PFOS in that water body. I don't know for 100%, tho.

I would bet the highest concentrations of these chemicals in living organisms (aside from the Mississippi right at the 3M Chemlite site in Cottage Grove where they found outrageous levels in fish last year)could be found in eagle point lake, in Lake Elmo Park. Surface water studies suggest that both the Oakdale and Lake Jane landfills drain to this lake/storm water basin. But since it is not a 'fishing' lake, they didn't sample here.

Hope you feel better smirk.gif

Failin'

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Since Demontreville and Olson were on the list and they are so close to Jane, I would think they were all in the same watershed. The water in Jane looks so much better than the other two so maybe they are not comparable.

I do not have too much to worry about since I only eat about six servings of fish per year. I do worry about my three year old and my pregnant wife drinking the water from the tap with comes from the Oakdale wells.

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Olson and demontreville are connected to Jane by a small creek so in one in all three.

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Fish are natural filters. I think I'd rather eat fish with chemicals in them than to eat fish out of waters with trash lined shorelines! At least then i would only glow in the dark for a day or two. grin.gif

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I'm sure any of us who have fished shorelines in the spring like myself have all seen the nasty washed up on shore form the previous ice fishing season, example, condoms and tampons. Chemicals sound tastier after seeing them.

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Carp, they are probably still healthier to eat than big macs and whoppers eh? wink.gif

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I bet you there are more lakes affected. I didnt see White Bear, and Bald Eagle on that list. Remember Phalen is included with those in the chain of lakes. I bet when more of the tests come in probably 90% of the lake will be affected in the metro area.

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Interesting read at: pubs.acs.org/subscribe/journals/esthag-w/2007/may/science/rr_PFOApeople.html

It appears that your best defense of limiting your perflourinated chemical intake is to reduce your fast food and microwave popcorn consumption.

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Wow! Excellent article Chem E.

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