The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has released the final report detailing testing of deer for polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) took samples from 128 deer across Michigan to test for PFAS, after initial tests showed one deer with high levels in Oscoda Township.
At that point, in Oct. 2018, recommendations were issued to put a “Do Not Eat” advisory in place for deer taken within around five miles of Clark’s Marsh, which borders the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base.
DNR officials now say the recommendation will stay the same, as only one deer came back with elevated levels. The same deer that caused that initial advisory in Clark’s Marsh.
The advisory encircles the five-mile radius around the Wurtsmith base property and covers what the DNR has estimated to be the expected travel range of deer living in or near the marsh.
People should not eat deer that came from within five miles of Clark’s Marsh.
In addition to the Clark’s Marsh deer advisory, MDHHS continues to recommend not eating kidneys or liver from any deer because many chemicals including PFAS can accumulate in their organs.
The advisory does not apply to cattle, chickens, or other livestock raised in the area.
It is still unknown how PFAS could accumulate in deer.
The State of Michigan is investigating the circumstances of the one deer with elevated levels and doing further analysis to learn more about PFAS in deer and other wildlife.