BENSALEM, Pa. (CBS) — Chemical-contaminated water. Pennsylvania issued a do not eat advisory Wednesday for all fish caught in the Neshaminy Creek in Bucks and Montgomery Counties, citing “extremely high” levels of what they describe as an emerging contaminant.
The advisory means no more stocking trout in the Neshaminy Creek come spring and officials aren’t sure when this warning will be lifted.READ MORE: Car Crashes Into Storefront In Philadelphia's Oxford Circle Neighborhood
“This is new territory for us,” Neil Shader with the Pennsylvania Department of Environment Protection said.
Pennsylvania Health and Environmental Protection officials have issued a do not eat advisory for all fish caught in the Neshaminy Creek Basin, including Neshaminy Creek and Tyler State Parks.
“Any fish in the entire Neshaminy Creek watershed should not be consumed because of PFOS contamination,” Shader said.
PFOS is a man-made chemical used to make products including Teflon cookware and water-resistant carpets and fabrics.READ MORE: Man Killed, 16-Year-Old Student Shot In Head After Fight Near Lincoln High School, Philadelphia Police Say
“It builds up in the fatty tissue in fish so then when you cook it, it doesn’t cook out,” Neil said. “Once it is in your system, it tends to stick there.”
In 2018, Gov. Tom Wolf created a statewide action team to sample and treat public waterways near possible pollutant sources, including the Willow Grove Naval Base. Fish tested in both Bucks and Montgomery Counties contained “extremely high” levels of PFOS.
“It is considered an emerging contaminant,” Shader said. “We don’t know all the health effects that are associated with this pollutant.”
While state teams say recreational activities are safe, including swimming and boating, they will be posting signs in the days and weeks ahead.
“It’s something that we definitely want to make sure people are aware of,” Shader said.MORE NEWS: SEPTA Riders Held Up Phones As Woman Was Raped On El Train In Upper Darby, Authorities Say
Eyewitness News also asked state officials about pet exposure — can a dog swim or drink the water — they say that sort of incidental contact is safe in moderation.