The Silent Killer that’s killing the Huron Valley Watershed!

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The Silent Killer that’s killing the Huron Valley Watershed!

The Huron  River Watershed (graphic courtesy of  Tim Kiser)

The Huron River Watershed (graphic courtesy of Tim Kiser)

The Huron River Watershed (graphic courtesy of Tim Kiser)

The Huron River Watershed (graphic courtesy of Tim Kiser)

Hunter Green, Staff Writer

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DO NOT EAT THE FISH. On August 31, 2018, The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued  an expansion to the previous advisory, made on Aug. 4. This advisory was active for all of the fish in the Huron River, which includes 14 counties across Michigan. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the reason for this was because of the “high levels of PFAS (Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) that have been found in surface waters near Kent Lake and in fish throughout the area.” 

The Huron River Water Council explained that PFAS are man-made chemica

The Huron River Watershed Council logo (photo courtesy of hrwc.org)

ls that come from manufacturing, fire retardant, common household products, consumer products, landfills, and farms. PFAS can enter the environment through production or waste streams and are very persistent in the environment.

 “This is a very unfortunate event,” stated Senior Ronnie Savage, a local fisherman. “No local anglers can catch and cook their trophy trout in the Huron River anymore and it’s even worse knowing that we caused this catastrophe.”

These pollutants are causing animal health problems, and could potentially cause problems in humans, such as low birth weight, delayed puberty onset, high cholesterol levels, and reduced vaccine responses. 

If you eat the fish from the river, you would have a higher risk of cancer, kidney disease, thyroid conditions and autoimmune disorders also reproductive, developmental and immunological effects in humans .These chemicals can also affect the developing fetus and child.  “A level that high … should be level of concern for everybody,” said Bill Walker, vice president and editor in chief

The Huron River Watershed Council logo (photo courtesy of hrwc.org)

of Environment Work Group, a nonprofit and non-partisan group focusing on human health and the environment.

“ In my opinion the only way this problem is going to come to a conclusion is if we put filters at the end of the manufacturing  processes and water treatments to separate the PFAS from the non harmful waste, but that won’t likely to happen because the big manufacturers just pay the dumping fine instead of paying for a filtration system. Until that happens the watershed is getting more toxic by the day and it’s sad,” said Milford Highschool AP Environmental teacher, Mrs. Crow. One of the only possible ways to fix this problem is for the Huron Valley Watershed will be saved from the PFAS is to give all manufacturers requirements and regulations on how they dispose or filter of their waste and possibly use more environmentally friendly products and materials.  

 

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