Isolated case – we hope!

Joe Raedle/Getty

Cattle from a small south-east Michigan farm that sold beef to schools and at farmers’ markets in the state have been found to contain dangerous levels of PFAS, so-called “forever chemicals” that can pose a serious risk to human health.

The news comes after consumer groups in 2019 warned that using PFAS-laden sewage sludge as fertilizer would contaminate dairy, beef, crops and other food products. However, at the time a Michigan agricultural regulator publicly assured the state’s dairy farmers her agency wouldn’t test milk for the toxic chemicals as they didn’t want to inflict economic pain on the $15bn industry, she said.

Now just over two years later, consumer groups say their fears may have come true.

Officials are “confident” the case is isolated. So confident, they aren’t testing further. That’s a mistake. Political, thoughtless or otherwise…more testing is needed.

4 thoughts on “Isolated case – we hope!

  1. What it is says:

    “The number of U.S. communities confirmed to be contaminated with the highly toxic fluorinated compounds known as PFAS continues to grow at an alarming rate. As of August 2021, 2,854 locations in 50 states and two territories are known to be contaminated.” This updated interactive map documents PFAS pollution in public and private water systems:
    “Multiple studies have found PFAS in municipal sewage sludge. The US EPA states that more than half of the sludge produced in the United States is applied to agricultural land as biosolids, therefore there are concerns that biosolids applications may become a potential source of PFAS to the environment. Application of biosolids as a soil amendment can potentially result in transfer of PFAS to soil, surface water and groundwater and can possibly allow PFAS to enter the food chain. Limited studies have shown that PFAS concentrations can be elevated in surface and groundwater in the vicinity of agricultural fields that received PFAS contaminated biosolids for an extended period.”

  2. Koyaanisqatsi says:

    “Metro Denver’s wastewater treatment system is spreading sewage biosolids laced with toxic PFAS “forever chemicals” at its farm in eastern Arapahoe County and on private farms that buy the material as fertilizer, according to test records obtained by the Colorado Sun.
    The likely presence of the ubiquitous and dangerous chemicals on Colorado farmland, placed there through biosolids spread by Metro Water Recovery and more than 100 other municipal waste agencies, adds to a growing list of potential health threats and underscores the need for widespread testing, researchers and watchdog groups said.
    No agency requires Metro Water Recovery or other Colorado municipal waste handlers to test the soil or groundwater where biosolids are spread to determine if the chemicals used to make nonstick pans and waterproof hiking clothes are creating the type of human health threats routinely documented by local and national researchers. Study after study shows detectable levels of PFAS in nearly all humans, in all the fish captured in one Colorado test, and in other living creatures.”

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