Eating a single serving of freshwater fish can be the equivalent of drinking water contaminated with high levels of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, for a month, but states lack cohesive guidance on safe consumption levels, according to a recent study from the Environmental Working Group.

Bill Eisenman has always fished.

“Growing up, we ate whatever we caught — catfish, carp, freshwater drum,” he said. “That was the only real source of fish in our diet as a family, and we ate a lot of it.”

Today, a branch of the Rouge River runs through Eisenman’s property in a suburb north of Detroit. But in recent years, he has been wary about a group of chemicals known as PFAS (per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances), also referred to as “forever chemicals,” which don’t break down quickly in the environment and accumulate in soil, water, fish and our bodies.

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