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MDHHS issues rainbow smelt consumption warning for Lake Superior

Invasive bloody red shrimp discovered in Lake Superior
Posted at 5:15 PM, Mar 24, 2021

LANSING, Mich. — According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) there are high levels of perfluorooctane sulfonate in Lake Superior rainbow smelt. Information MDHHS received from Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources prompted the latter to issue an Eat Safe Fish warning.

The warning recommends people limit their Lake Superior smelt consumption to one serving (an 8-ounce portion for adults and 2/4 ounce portion for children) monthly.

“This precautionary guideline is based on data shared by Wisconsin, which shows elevated levels of PFOS in Lake Superior rainbow smelt,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “PFOS is a perfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) associated with harmful effects in people, including reduced fertility, thyroid disease and liver damage. We will update this guideline once the department has additional data.”

More information can be obtained at Eat Safe Fish website or calling the MI-TOXICS hotline at 800-648-6942.