Researchers find toxic chemicals in Wilmington wildlife

Researchers find toxic chemicals in Wilmington wildlife
Wilmington's Greenfield Lake has an ample supply of alligators, and there are signs everywhere about the reptiles and the dangers of feeding them.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Researchers at North Carolina State University say they found high levels of toxic chemicals known as PFAS in alligators and striped bass in the Wilmington area.

University toxicologist Scott Belcher told The StarNews on Tuesday that the contamination is likely harming local wildlife.

Belcher's team found alligators in Greenfield Lake in Wilmington had 10 times the level of PFAS as those in Lake Waccamaw in Columbus County.

PFAS stands for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances used in firefighting, waterproofing and other industries. Experts have linked them to illnesses including cancers, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is considering setting a national safety threshold.

The source of the chemicals found in wildlife around Wilmington isn’t immediately clear, but they are produced upstream in a Chemours chemical factory and used at Fort Bragg.

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Information from: The StarNews, http://starnewsonline.com

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