Toxic Chemical Detected Near Mackay Airport
31 July 2019
Toxic firefighting foam, PFAS, has been detected in water and fish in Shellgrit Creek, next to Mackay Airport.
The test results showed elevated levels of the chemical and consequently, possible health risks for people who eat the fish over a long period of time. There is no health risk for people who have infrequently eaten fish from this creek.
Based on the Airservices Australia PFAS testing results, Queensland Health advises that fish caught in Shellgrit Creek next to the Mackay Airport should not be eaten.
The testing also showed that groundwater and surface water inside the airport had PFAS levels above national recreational use guideline values at some locations, while the PFAS levels in surface water at Shellgrit Creek are below the guidelines.
No drinking water is sourced from these waterways and Mackay town water remains safe. The testing is part of an investigation by Airservices Australia and they will carry out further investigations near the airport to verify the extent of contamination and any potential human health or ecological risks from its operations.