- We know there's PFAS chemicals in some Northern water sources, but a recent sample from a DNR shows that the chemicals can be found in animals as well.
Researchers tested 20 deer in the Marinette-Peshtigo area by collecting muscle, heart, and liver tissues. Of the 20 deer, only one had levels of PFAS in the muscle tissue and two had levels in heart tissue. But all 20 deer had concerning PFAS levels in the liver tissue.
Why were PFAS levels so high in the liver?
DNR environmental toxicologist Sean Strom said it's simply based on the deer's physiology.
"One of the functions of the liver is to filter out contaminants from the bloodstream," Strom said. "So part of what our results show us is that the liver is doing its job. It's filtering out these contaminants. As a result of filtering out the contaminants from the blood, they accumulate in the liver."
Strom added that deer are not the first animal the DNR has tested for PFAS chemicals.
"We've detected PFAS in a lot of different wildlife species, which is kind of an indication of the ubiquitous nature of PFAS--that it's everywhere," Strom said.
Testing for PFAS chemicals in wildlife species is a relatively new area of study to the DNR so they don't have all the answers just yet.
"PFAS in wildlife is a growing area of interest so we don't know what levels would impact wildlife like deer or any other sort of wildlife," Strom said.
But, some residents are concerned about consuming the venison.
Strom says right now there's no reason to worry about the animal populations or eating deer.
"We've done a lot of work with bald eagles but then have done a little bit of work looking at waterfowl and various small mammals. But as of right now we have no reason to believe that those numbers are impacting any of those populations."
The DNR plans to test additional randomly-collected deer around the state later this year.
WASHINGTON - Spotify and the makers of Fortnite and Tinder are taking on Apple and Google as part of a newly formed coalition calling for "fair treatment" in the way the tech giants run their app stores.
MADISON - The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature on Wednesday appealed a federal court ruling that allows for absentee ballots to be counted up to six days after the Nov. 3 presidential election in the battleground state.
- Park Falls Police Department is investigating two incidents when a man approached middle school boys earlier this month. It's an incident that the City of Park Falls Chief Jerome Ernst says he has not experienced in the last 30 years.
"This type of report is very rare for us, but you see these types of things happen. You now all over the place, Park Falls is not exempt.," Ernst said.
Ernst says back on September 8th, a middle school cross country runner was approached by a man after his practice near Chequamegon High School in Park Falls. The man told the boy that he was from 'Up North', and was asking for help to find the hospital. The second incident occurred on September 16th, when a man matching a similar description was seen on Saunders Avenue in Park Falls near Hines Park. When he approached two boys who were also in Middle School.
"The person only stated 'Do you want to race', and the kid just kinda ignored him, because he is a stranger, and he wasn't comfortable about it," Ernst said. "The other child however, tells us that the person said, 'Do you want to race me to my house. If you win I'll give you some prize or treats', Something like that," Ernst said. Then last Friday a man matching a similar description was also seen in Wausau. According to a Facebook post and video posted online, he was accused of watching a group of girls. "The description of the individual, looks a little bit like the person in the video. Although it's hard to tell because the videos are a little bit shaded and dark. The vehicle is definitely not the same like it is in Park Falls," Ernst said. However, Park Falls and Wausau Police Department are partnering up to see if the incidents may be connected. Even if the cases are not connected, Ernst says it's a good reminder of stranger danger. "If you are going out to play or do things or walk over to the park, stay in groups with your trusted friends or family. Talk to them about stranger danger. Not to immediately trust, a new person or strange person," Ernst said.
MADISON - On September 22nd the United States hit a staggering 200,000 COVID-19 deaths. Wisconsin alone has 100,000 cases. The high numbers of deaths and cases can be lowered by modifying our behaviors and by wearing a mask properly.
There have been revisions to the mask mandate. Originally, it was said that only people not feeling well are required to wear it. It was changed when it was discovered that just talking could cause an outbreak.
Dr. Jeff Pothof of UW Madison Health spoke about how not wearing a mask can affect your long term health.
"People who had no idea they were sick had enough virus where they could spread it and the only thing they needed to do to spread it was talk to someone else," said Pothof.
COVID-19 is all across the country and not wearing a mask is putting yourself and the people around you at risk.
"There is no way you can know. It is everywhere right now. To think that you live in a location where COVID-19 hasn't reached yet is just not true," said Pothof.
To ensure you're protected, wear a cloth mask that is two layers thick to prevent your droplets from escaping and to protect from other droplets.
Make sure to wash your cloth masks once a week and change paper masks once every three to 5 days.
"They need to cover your nose and your mouth. If you only cover your mouth, the mask is not effective. Those droplets are coming out your nose and it just doesn't work," said Pothof.
For those thinking there's no repercussions from catching COVID-19, there are health risks that can be long term and affect your everyday life.
"People who have had COVID-19 may not ever return to normal lung function and that can impact them in ways such as in physical exertion and their ability to do things. Their physical stamina may decreased because their lungs are no longer as effective as they were before they had COVID-19," said Pothof.
The other long term health risks of COVID-19 is an inflamed heart.
"Likewise people that have an inflamed heart muscle tissue their hearts don't pump as effectively. The more severe COVID-19 the more inflammation they saw in the heart muscle. And we don't know how long that will last. The more severe the COVID-19 the more inflammation they saw in the heart muscle," said Pothof.
In cities like Madison and Milwaukee, their hospitals are equipped to handle a large influx of people and have special wards to combat COVID-19--unlike the smaller hospitals in our communities.
"Even if you have a small outbreak , you're going to quickly strip the healthcare resources in your community and when that happens only bad things happen to those people," said Pothof.
Make sure to mask up properly, to keep your loved ones and your community safe. For more information, you can visit the CDC website.
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