COMMERCE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — State health officials said consumption guidelines are not needed for deer harvested from Oakland County’s Proud Lake Recreation Area, northwest of Detroit.
Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services said tests showed no per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, in muscle and heart tissue samples from 20 white-tailed deer harvested within 5 miles (8 kilometers) of Norton Creek in Commerce Township, The Detroit News reported.
The toxins are used in various stain- and stick-resistant household products. They’re also a component of firefighting foam.
Testing of white-tailed deer from the Proud Lake Recreation Area was prompted by levels of chemicals found in surface water and fish tissue samples taken from the Huron River watershed during the summer of 2018, the health department said.
The announcement on Wednesday follows the start of the state’s bow-hunting deer season on Tuesday.
Officials recommend that people not eat livers and kidneys of deer taken from the recreation area. They say perfluorooctane sulfonic acid — a type of PFAS — was found in liver and kidney samples. Some liver samples also had very low detectable levels of polychlorinated biphenyls, PCBs.
Studies of people exposed to PFAS found connections between the chemicals and increased risk of liver damage, thyroid disease, pre-eclampsia, decreased fertility and small decreases in birth weight, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
More than 120 white-tailed deer from across Michigan were sampled and tested for PFAS last year, according to the state health department.
Test results showed high levels of PFOS in one deer from near Clark’s Marsh in Oscoda Township, resulting in a “Do Not Eat” deer advisory for the area, the health department said. PFAS can build up over time in the blood and organs of wild game, fish and humans exposed to these chemicals through the food they eat and the water they drink.