Skip to main content

PFAS in Fish

A fresh brown trout in the palm of an angler

PFAS in Fish

MDHHS releases Eat Safe Fish Guides annually in the Spring, and emergency advisories as needed. Fish across the state are tested for PFAS in addition to other chemicals such as mercury, as all fish have some amount of mercury. As new guidelines are set as a result of elevated levels of PFOS, Michigan is releasing those advisories outside of the annual Eat Safe Fish Guides update. 

The Eat Safe Fish guidelines are set to be protective for everyone including children and pregnant and breastfeeding women, and people with existing health problems such as cancer or diabetes. Michigan has been routinely testing fish filets for PFAS since 2012.

Eat Safe Fish guidelines are provided as MI Servings. One MI Serving for adults is 6-8 ounces of fish (about the size of an adult’s hand). For children, one MI Serving is 2-4 ounces of fish (about the size of an adult’s palm).

In water bodies with fish that have a PFOS guideline, touching the fish or water and swimming are not considered a health concern as PFAS do not move easily through the skin. An occasional swallow of river or lake water is also not considered a health concern. Guidelines do exist regarding foam on water bodies. For more information about PFAS in foam, visit the PFAS foam page.

Eat Safe Fish program

MDHHS provides many resources as part of their Eat Safe Fish program, including resources for going fishing in Michigan, buying fish, health benefits of eating fish, and more.