Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, in conjunction with the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC), has detected high levels of PFAS in some deer harvested in the greater Fairfield area and is issuing a do not eat advisory for deer harvested in the area.
This area encompasses multiple farm fields that have been contaminated by high levels of PFAS through the spreading of municipal and/or industrial sludge for fertilizer that contained PFAS. Deer feeding in these contaminated areas have ingested these chemicals, and now have PFAS in their organs and meat. Click here to view a map of the do not eat advisory area.
Poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have been used for decades in a variety of household and consumer products, including non-stick cookware, carpet, waterproof clothing, and food packaging products such as pizza boxes and microwave popcorn bags. PFAS were also used in firefighting foams. Known as “forever chemicals” since they do not break down, PFAS persist in the environment and are transferred into soil, water, plants, and animals.
Hunters who have already harvested a deer in the area are advised not to eat the deer, and to dispose of the deer in their trash or landfill. The department will offer those who harvested a deer in the advisory area an opportunity to take an additional deer in the 2022 hunting season. Hunters should call the department at 207-287-8000 or email IFW.PFAS@maine.gov for more information.
If you have questions about health effects from PFAS or blood testing, please contact the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at 866-292-3474 (toll-free in Maine) or 207-287-4311.