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MDHHS Continues Consumption Guideline for Lake Superior Smelt

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is continuing to recommend people only consume one serving per month of smelt from Lake Superior due to elevated levels of PFOS.

Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) are a perfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS).

Per , a serving size is eight ounces for adults and two or four ounces for children.

MDHHS first issued the precautionary fish consumption in March 2021. The guideline was created due to data shared by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources that showed elevated PFOS in Lake Superior rainbow smelt.

In 2021, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy along with other agencies collected smelt from several locations in Lake Superior and its related watershed. Early data results indicate that PFOS levels in smelt collected in Michigan are similar to smelt collected in Wisconsin.

Until all data is available, MDHHS recommends that the guideline of one serving per month remain in place for smelt from Lake Superior. When all data is available, MDHHS will update the guidelines for smelt.

For more information, visit the Eat Safe Fish program website at or call 800-648-6942.

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