Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) continues to advise hunters in the Gippsland area not to consume PFAS (per- and poly-fluorinated alkyl substances) affected eel, carp and duck taken from the Heart Morass area. This includes any part of the animals, including duck breast.
EPA is continuing to work with responsible land owners including Department of Defence, (DoD) to ensure all PFAS present in Victoria at elevated levels are identified and managed.
PFAS are a group of man-made substances, many of which are in widespread and common use including in historic firefighting foams and in home products like non-stick pans and carpet treatments.
While there is still no consistent evidence that PFAS cause any specific illness in humans, they can persist in humans for many years. EPA is taking a cautionary approach to minimise risk and recommends against consumption of animal products or water where PFAS levels are considered high.
This is a complex issue and EPA is leading an interagency group to develop a comprehensive survey of biota including nomadic and resident ducks. This testing will include other chemicals and metals of general concern to the community.
DoD has been cooperating with EPA to make results of its testing available and EPA has audited these results to assure accuracy.
The latest analysis of DoD testing, which was released in December 2017, does not alter EPA’s advice on wildlife consumption.
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