Contamination of PFAS in five southern lakes is high enough that the state has issued warnings to limit fish consumption — including warnings for children younger than 7 not to eat any fish from Robinson Pond in Hudson and Horseshoe Pond in Merrimack.
The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services on Thursday issued the state’s first fish consumption advisories for per- or polyfluoroalkyl substances or PFAS, often called “forever chemicals.” the manmade chemicals are used to repel oil and water, and can be found in materials from firefighting foam to nonstick pans. The chemicals can be released into the water or air during some manufacturing processes, and end up in lakes, rivers and groundwater.
PFAS contamination in southern New Hampshire has been of growing concern in recent years, and this fall the Merrimack Village District water utility sued three local manufacturers, alleging they failed to stop the chemicals from entering the water.
The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services sampled fish in 14 lakes in southern New Hampshire this year, and has advised people to limit their consumption of fish from five of those lakes because of high levels of PFOS.
The state urges families not to let children under 7 eat any fish from Horseshoe Pond in Merrimack or Robinson Pond in Hudson, because of PFOS contamination in the fish.
Older children and adults should eat fish from either of those ponds no more than once a month.
Fish in Beaver Lake in Derry, Canobie Lake in Salem and Cobbetts Pond in Windham were also found to be contaminated with PFOS.
The state advises children under 7 and pregnant women not to eat more than one meal a month of fish from any of those ponds.
Older children and other adults should not eat more than three meals of fish from Beaver Lake or Canobie Lake per month, and no more than two meals per month of fish from Cobbetts Pond.