Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) is advising people to limit the amount of fish they eat from Piedmont Pond south of Whitehall after elevated levels of arsenic were detected in the water.
Long term exposure to arsenic can cause cancer and skin lesions, according to the World Health Organization. It’s also been linked to negative cognitive development and death in young children.
In a press release on Sept. 22, FWP said women of child bearing age and children younger than seven shouldn’t eat more than one small fish from the pond per month.
FWP said it will be posting signs to notify anglers.
The Montana Department of Environmental Quality also recommends people avoid drinking the water, which has a concentration of arsenic that exceeds the threshold for human health.
Officials at the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology said the arsenic in the pond and nearby groundwater is likely due to natural hydrothermal activity.