A chemical formerly manufactured by 3M Co. has been found at elevated levels in nine more lakes in the Twin Cities region, likely entering the lakes through stormwater runoff, according to a study.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency collected fish from 20 lakes and two river reaches last spring and summer and analyzed the fish for PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate) and related compounds. The company made the chemical for decades for Scotchgard, firefighting foams and other products before ceasing production in 2002.
Eleven other lakes in the study had little or no trace of PFOs.
The lakes study, released Tuesday, began after the discovery last spring of relatively high levels of PFOS in bluegills from Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis. That prompted authorities to advise anglers to eat no more than one meal per month of bluegills taken from Calhoun and four connecting lakes.
State health officials said in a prepared statement that they would evaluate the findings and determine whether additional warnings about fish consumption will be issued.
Three lakes in Minneapolis and six in surrounding counties contained fish with PFOS levels "high enough to possibly be of concern," said Paul Hoff, the MPCA's supervisor of environmental reporting and special studies, while 11 other lakes showed little or no trace of the chemical.
The lakes with elevated levels of PFOS in fish are: Lake Johanna (Arden Hills), Cedar (Minneapolis), Harriet, Hiawatha, Jane, Keller, Powers, Red Rock and Tanners. Waters with little or no trace of PFOS are Cedar (Scott County), Centerville, Colby, Green Mountain, Hydes, Independence, Nokomis, Peltier, Upper Prior, Sarah and Silver.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)