Fish consumption advisory issued for several King County lakes

The Washington State Department of Health has issued a fish consumption advisory for Lake Washington, Lake Meridian and Lake Sammamish after finding perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) in several types of fish. PFOS comes from a family of chemicals known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), sometimes called “forever chemicals.”

There is strong evidence from animal studies and growing evidence from human studies that chemicals in the PFAS family, like PFOS, can harm human health. For people, having PFAS chemicals in your body could:

– Interfere with your immune system and make some vaccinations less effective.

– Increase your risk for kidney cancer, a lower birth weight for your baby, and/or high cholesterol.

New human studies show PFAS chemicals may also increase your risk for:

– Other cancers (like testicular cancer),

– Thyroid disease, and/or

– High blood pressure during pregnancy and other reproductive issues.

Your risk of developing health problems depends on how much, how often and how long you were exposed. Age, lifestyle and overall health can impact how your body responds to PFOS exposure. The best way to protect yourself and your family is to lower your exposure, the state health department says.

The department recommends continuing to eat fish because it has many health benefits. Follow the updated guidelines to limit your PFOS exposure and safely eat fish caught in Lake Washington, Lake Sammamish, and Lake Meridian.

Map of LakesLake Washington

Lake Washington has existing advisories for PCBs and mercury. The state  health department is now adding recommendations for PFOS.

Common Carp: Do not eat

Cutthroat Trout: Do not eat

Largemouth Bass: Do not eat

Smallmouth Bass: Do not eat

Northern Pikeminnow: Do not eat

Yellow Perch: Up to 1 meal* per month

Brown Bullhead: Up to 4 meals per month

Pumpkinseed: Healthy choice

Rainbow Trout: Healthy choice

Sockeye Salmon: Healthy choice

~ ~ ~ ~

Lake Sammamish

Largemouth Bass: Do not eat

Northern Pikeminnow: Do not eat

Yellow Perch: Up to one meal per month

Smallmouth Bass: Up to two meals per month

Brown Bullhead: Healthy choice

~ ~ ~ ~

Lake Meridian

Northern Pikeminnow: Do not eat

Smallmouth Bass: Do not eat

Yellow Perch: Up to one meal per month

Largemouth Bass: Up to one meal per month

Kokanee: Up to two meals per month

Brown Bullhead: Healthy choice

One meal for an adult is equivalent to one 8-ounce uncooked fillet, or a piece of fish approximately the same size and thickness as your palm.

Fish advisory signs at the lakes will be updated by the start of the spring fishing season.

Currently, there are no PFOS advisories on saltwater fish or other lakes in Washington State. The Department of Ecology collected fish samples from Lake Washington, Lake Sammamish and Lake Meridian first because those lakes were identified as higher concern for PFOS in previous sampling. The ecology department is monitoring for other types of PFAS chemicals, and the health department said it anticipates receiving more data from the ecology department and other partners over the next several years.

For more information on advisories, visit DOH’s fish webpage or email Talk to your health care provider if you have concerns about how PFOS or fish may affect you.

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