NANTUCKET CURRENT: PFAS IN ISLAND WILDLIFE?

Written By: Jason Graziadei

The so-called “forever chemicals” known as PFAS have already been discovered in water wells around Nantucket Memorial Airport and in Nantucket Fire Department’s turnout gear. But could they also be contaminating the island’s wildlife? We’re about to find out. The Nantucket PFAS Action Group, in collaboration with Dr. Tim Lepore and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), have sampled and tested wildlife tissue from Nantucket deer and scallops to determine if PFAS can be detected at elevated levels in animals and shellfish consumed by island residents. Results are expected soon. The presence of PFAS in drinking water is an emerging concern nationwide and in some places, like Michigan, elevated levels in deer have prompted officials to issue “do not eat” advisories for deer taken near certain areas with known contamination. Used to manufacture stain- and water-resistant products, PFAS are suspected to increase the risk of kidney and testicular cancers, as well as other health conditions.

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