Since 2018 the Environment Protection Authority has investigated PFAS contamination and warned against consumption of native waterbirds, but the shooters ignore the risks and illegally removedthese warning signs which were erected at Hospital Swamp and around Lake Connewarre near Geelong in 2020:
Further notices were erected at Heart Morass near Sale, Gippsland, prior to the 2022 duck shooting season (below), yet shooting was not banned on this wetland
The risks posed by PFAS could well be compared with the asbestos issue. In Australia it wasn’t untilthe 1990s that the asbestos health concerns were taken seriously but it took until 2003 for anationwide ban to be brought in. According to WorkSafe Australia, asbestos is the single biggestcause of work-related deaths.Asbestos-related illnesses contribute toover 4,000 Australianliveslost every year.
PFAS is a man–made chemical which was only developed in the 1930, but today is used extensivelythroughout the worldfor a multitude of purposes.
Itsdangerous effectshave only recently come to lightand scientists are still learningabout thehealth impacts ofhuman exposure. Most animal testing show damage to the liver and immunesystem, low birth weights, birth defects, delayed development and newborn deaths.
It is present in firefighters foam which has contaminated some waterways and been taken up by native waterbirds and other wildlife.