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Jul 12, 2019 4:22 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

County Finds Elevated Levels Of PFAS In American Eels On South Shore

Jul 16, 2019 2:35 PM

Preliminary data from the Suffolk County Department of Health Services revealed that American eels living in south shore tidal areas between Yaphank and Quogue have higher levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS—prompting health officials to warn those who eat eels not to harvest any from that region.

The Health Department conducted an organism study in Carmans River in Yaphank, Forge River in Center Moriches, and Quantuck Creek in Quogue, and found that American eels had levels of PFOS, the most prevalent type of PFAS in fish, that were significantly higher than other marine species in the same water bodies.

According to the data, which is unvalidated and may be revised in the future, American eels had average concentrations of 79 micrograms per kilogram in Quantuck Creek, 43 in Carmans River, and 42 in Forge River. To compare, the average concentrations ranged between 0.9 to 3.1 micrograms per kilogram in blue crab, and between 6.1 to 29.4 in freshwater fish species.

County health officials suggest that individuals who consume eels from this area should reconsider their intake and adopt more restrictive guidelines than what is currently advised by the New York State Department of Health.

For American eels on Long Island, the state recommends that men over 15 and women over 50 should eat no more than four meals containing eels a month, and women under 50 and children under 15 should eat no more than one meal a month.

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We saw sores on the eels in Quantuck back in the 70's and 80's when we used to set traps and pots. Even in the 60's Quantuck and Monibogue were having major problems. We saw it, brought it to the powers that be attention who shrugged their shoulders and said what can we do? The airbase and the old dump are major contributors, as well as Lake Ro konkoma that flows this way with the underground springs.
By clamdigger (81), Quogue on Jul 13, 19 8:17 AM
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