Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

UPDATE: Tamworth PFAS investigations – advice for recreational fishers

Media release: 28 June 2017

The NSW Government has reviewed the results of fish sampling for PFAS* in the Peel River Tamworth, and is recommending that regular consumers of locally caught Murray Cod, Golden Perch, and Carp limit their weekly intake.**

Sampling from March showed low PFAS levels in these fish species, taken from the Jewry Road Bridge at Tamworth downstream to Ellisvale, and in the Wallamore Anabranch & Bolton's Creek catchment.

EPA Executive Director of Hazardous Incidents and Environmental Health Sarah Gardner said although the fish showed low levels of PFAS, there is no consistent evidence that PFAS has human health impacts. The provision of recreational fishing advice is consistent with the NSW Government’s precautionary approach to managing PFAS across the state.

“Taking a precautionary approach helps to protect the community from any unknown health risks of PFAS,” Mrs Gardner said.

“Identifying any potential pathways through which people might come into contact with PFAS is part of the NSW approach.

“We have already spoken with a small number of individual landowners around the Tamworth Regional Airport earlier this year, providing tailored advice to help them to reduce or eliminate their exposure to PFAS until further investigations are undertaken.

“The advice for local recreational fishers continues this approach, as we work with Tamworth Regional Council to provide meaningful results to the community about any contamination in the area and ensure that the community receives information in a timely manner.”

For more information on the state-wide PFAS investigation program go to www.epa.nsw.gov.au/MediaInformation/pfasinvestigation.htm.

 

* Per- and poly- fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of chemicals that include perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS). As they have heat, water and stain repelling properties, PFAS have been widely used in a range of industrial and consumer products both in Australia and internationally, including in fire retardants, water proofing, food preparation, food packaging, furnishings, clothing and recreational equipment.

** The recommended maximum weekly intake for each species is:

Species

Servings*

Children - 2 to 6  years old

Servings*

All other age groups

Murray Cod     2     5
Golden Perch 6 Advice not required
Carp 1 2
*Adult Serving size = 150 grams; Children Serving Size = 75 grams.

Note:

  • Consumption of offal in all species should be avoided.
  • Species specific information is for when a single species of fish is eaten per week. Eating multiple species would result in a greater exposure.

Contact: EPA Public Affairs

Page last updated: 28 June 2017