HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A study by the New York State Department of Health (DOH) and Environmental Conservation found elevated levels of perfluorinated compound (PFCs) contamination in one of four water bodies tested in the Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh area.
As a result, the DOH has issued a catch and release advisory for Thayer Pond to ensure residents do not consume PFC-contaminated fish.
The DEC says the advisory applies to recreational fish only as commercial fishing is not permitted.
The DEC and DOH sampled fish from four popular lakes, ponds and streams used for recreational fishing. According to the DEC, sampling at each site included the testing of one or more fish species and minnow species to evaluate impacts to the ecological food chain.
“PFOA was not really present in fish so it looks like PFOA cleans out of fish very quickly and easily because it cleanses out,” Basil Seggos, Commissioner of NYS DEC, said. “PFOS bioaccumulates and we only found one spot in the Hoosick Falls area where there was PFOS in fish. That was Thayers Pond, which is right below the land fill. So we suspect there’s a source of PFOS in the landfill.”
“Flame retardants, scotch guard products, the things that have been manufactured to make other products more desirable by consumers. So the thought is that those products can end up in a land fill and leach out into a waterbody like Thayer’s Pond,” Brad Hutton, Deputy Commissioner at NYS DOH, said.
Environmental Advocates of New York issued this statement:
“PFOA and PFOS, like many toxic chemicals, can be bioaccumulative. That means that the longer the exposure, the greater likelihood of risk. And when our waters are compromised, including fish that people consume, public health is endangered. We applaud the DEC and DOH for announcing an ongoing study into the risks of fish contamination. However, we need to see the same effort and ongoing testing of people’s health, and the long-term effects of their exposure, through a bio- and medical monitoring program. It has been more than a year since Newburgh residents learned their water was contaminated, and it will soon be two years since Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh residents learned their water wasn’t safe to drink. While the U.S. Department of Defense has an obligation to clean up its contamination in Newburgh, in both regions, bio- and medical-monitoring for every person affected is something the DOH can follow through on immediately in order to protect public health.”
For more information about the DOH fish consumption advisories, visit www.health.ny.gov/fish