Deer Test Results Still Pending

Gregory Vellner

HARRISBURG, PA – More than two months after tests were conducted to determine if “forever chemicals” have poisoned deer in Bucks County, Pa., the state Game Commission today said it still awaits final conclusions.

“We’ve received no news and I’m not sure when it could happen,” said Andrew DiSalvo, wildlife veterinarian, Game Commission. “The lab is still working through the samples.”

Tests were conducted on some deer in Tyler State Park, in Newtown, PA., to determine the presence of PFAs, labeled as “forever chemicals.” If they are discovered, state officials may issue a “do not eat” advisory. Periodic deer hunting is scheduled at the park.

The 1,700-acre site in Newtown and Northampton townships is part of the Neshaminy Creek basin where the commission found “extremely high” levels of PFOs, a related class of chemicals in the fish population and consequently issued a “do not ear” advisory last October.

DiSalvo said test results on deer may be slow due to a high number of studies being conducted from numerous other locations.

The commission, he said, is looking for evidence of PFAs, a group of manufacturing chemicals typically found in nonstick cookware, firefighting foam and fast-food wrappers that do not naturally beak down in the environment. It got the “forever chemicals” label because the PFAs linger in the air and water for thousands of years, he said, and can cause sickness and disease.

The testing in Bucks County comes after similar chemicals recently were discovered in deer in the Fairfield area of coastal Maine. State officials there are now testing deer in nearly three dozen towns. The effort is focused on sites where industrial waste, sludge and septic tank sewage were used as fertilizer.

The chemicals have been found in water supplies across the country, including near former military bases like the Naval Air Station in Willow Grove, Montgomery County, PA, and the Naval Air Development Center in Warminster, Bucks County.

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Test results pending on Bucks County, PA deer.Unsplash

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As a professional journalist for several years -- reporter, editor, feature writer, columnist -- I handled a range of subjects. Breaking news, investigative series, government action, feature events, and staff feature writer with national entertainment magazine interviewing stars including Tom Selleck, Mel Brooks and Danny DeVito. No matter the topic, certain ingredients are key: truth, facts, objectivity, balance.

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