NYSDOH: Fish in Peconic River test positive for PFAS, residents warned to limit consumption

The state DOH has advised sensitive populations not to eat yellow perch from the river.

Joe Arena

May 25, 2023, 11:57 PM

Updated 327 days ago

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The New York state Department of Health has issued a warning about eating fish from a popular Suffolk County river.
Fish in the Peconic River, specifically between Peconic Lake Dam and Edwards Avenue Dam in Calverton, have tested positive for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances or PFAS, a toxic chemical known to cause various health impacts. The contaminated area also includes Peconic Lake and Forge Pond.
Adrienne Esposito, with the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, says the detection of what are known as "forever chemicals" is a huge concern.
"This chemical is associated with all sorts of very serious health impacts, particularly liver damage, damage to the immune system, mental damage in children," Esposito says.
The state DOH has advised sensitive populations not to eat yellow perch from the river, and they should only eat any other type of fish from the body of water for up to four meals a month.
Sensitive populations refer to women who could get pregnant and children under the age of 15.
The rest of the population is also being advised to limit consumption of all fish from the Peconic River.
Esposito says the cleanup jobs start with the Navy, who she says needs to be a better partner.
"The Navy has known for years that PFAS are emanating from their toxic site in Calverton, and we've been pushing them to clean it up more expeditiously," Esposito says.
News 12 reached out to the Navy and other officials for response to what kind of contamination cleanup efforts are being made and have not heard back.


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