FAIRFIELD — The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife announced a ‘do not eat’ advisory for deer in the greater Fairfield area.
The advisory was issued on Nov. 23 due to high levels of PFAS (Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl substances) detected in deer.
Mark Latti, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife communications director, said PFAS are a group of household chemicals found in many common items, and they can be dangerous to consume.
“The Department of Environmental Protection had tested in that area and had seen elevated levels in the soil and later in milk samples and beef samples,” Latti said. “So, we felt it was prudent to test deer in that area. We tested eight deer and all had elevated levels of PFAS.”
Latti said the next steps are testing more deer to determine exactly how widespread the issue is.
He said other wildlife such as turkeys will be tested as well.
“There are a lot of bio-solids that were spread in that area, which is where the PFAS came from, but that being said there are other sites throughout the state that the Department of Environmental Protection will be testing over the next four years to see what level of PFAS are in that area,” Latti said.
Latti said PFAS are known as ‘forever chemicals,’ meaning they do not break down.
He said PFAS were used as a cheap source of fertilizer years ago when little was known about their long term effects.
“Nobody knew then what we know now about PFAS and how they stay in the soil forever. and how it can affect a person’s health. people with high levels of PFAS in their system are susceptible to certain types of cancer,” Latti said.
Latti said PFAS can also affect people’s immune systems and their cholesterol.
For more information on the deer advisory and the dangers of PFAS, call 287-8000 or go to mefishwildlife.com.