Nature

Beef From Michigan Farm Found to Contain Toxic ‘Forever Chemicals’

State inspectors identified toxic “forever compounds” in beef from a small Michigan farm after the cattle were given crops cultivated with fertilizer generated from contaminated wastewater biosolids.

State agencies issued a consumption advisory, emphasizing that there are no official regulations for the substance in cattle meat.

It said consumers should be aware that meat from Livingston County’s Grostic Cattle Co. may have one of the substance called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS. Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) is the compound found in the beef.

Beef

(Photo : NATALIE BEHRING/AFP via Getty Images)

 PFOS Found in Michigan Farm’s Beef

This farm’s beef has been linked to higher amounts of PFOS in humans, according to a statement from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. 

PFAS chemicals, which are utilized in a wide range of industrial and consumer items, have been linked to a wide range of health issues, including liver and thyroid damage, elevated cholesterol, and weakened immune systems, according to Phys.org.

Since these chemicals don’t break down in the environment or the human body, they are referred to as “forever chemicals.” 

According to East Carolina University toxicologist Jamie DeWitt, studies have demonstrated that crops treated with PFAS-laced biosolids can absorb the chemicals, so it’s plausible that cattle fed those meals would have detectable levels in their bodies. Some dairy farms have reported finding PFAS in their milk. 

To the best of their knowledge, according to the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team, Grostic Cattle Co. has cooperated with the state in its inquiry. Customers will be notified and afflicted cattle will be removed from the market. Buyers are receiving financial assistance from the state. 

Also Read: U.S. Water Supply Contaminated by 42,000 Toxic “Forever Chemicals”

Wastewater Biosolids Contaminated with PFAS 

Grostic Cattle Co. was the subject of a four-year state inquiry into the proliferation of municipal wastewater biosolids polluted with PFAS as farmland fertilizer in the state of Minnesota. 

Biosolids from industrial sources that contain more than 150 parts per billion of PFOS were banned from land applications in Michigan last year. The state now requires testing of all biosolids before they can be used on the state’s land. 

Wixom’s wastewater treatment plant had excessive amounts of PFOS discovered in it in 2018. There were 2,150 parts per billion in the biosolid material produced there. An industrial chrome plating plant discharged wastewater into the plant’s water supply. 

The Michigan PFAS Action Response Team focused on the Wixom plant and several others for a study of how agricultural usage of biosolids containing chemicals can impact the environment, as per Abc News.

Cows at grazing field

(Photo : ADAM IHSE/TT NEWS AGENCY/AFP via Getty Image)

PFAS Found in Crops 

Soil and water samples were collected from farms that had employed Wixom biosolids, and the results were analyzed. A PFAS chemical was found at Grostic Cattle Co. based on data from a shallow groundwater monitoring well. 

Cattle feed crops, manure, and soil were discovered to have PFAS in further testing. This month, a USDA lab tested frozen beef portions from the farm and found an average PFOS level of 1.9 ppb. 

According to the state’s PFAS team, the readings were lower than USDA’s current health screening value and lower than beef samples previously tested in other states, thus the team opted to issue a public warning. 

Related Article: Toxic ‘Forever Chemicals’ Are Contaminating Indoor Air at an Alarming Rate

For more news, updates about forever chemicals and similar topics don’t forget to follow Nature World News!

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