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Health officials address public concerns after contaminated water discovered in Plainfield Township

Michigan and Kent County Health officials held a town hall Tuesday evening to address public concerns after contaminants were discovered in Plainfield Township drinking water. Joining the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, officials from the Kent County Health Department as well as the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services answered questions from the public, many of  whom demanded answers from officials about what they may know. 

“What we do know,” David O’Donnell from the DEQ said, “is we have sampled 38 wells to date. We have got back (the results of) 35 back, (and) 10 of those exceed health advisory levels.”

The main contaminant in those 10 wells is Per-and-polyfluoroalkyl substances, better known as PFAS. Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Toxicologist Christina Bush says can lead to a number of health concerns.

“The concerns that we have would have would be the possibility of certain types of cancer, kidney and testicular cancer,” Bush said. “There is a lot of concerns, but whether or not this necessarily means that something will have happen is still a little inconclusive,” she said.

The source of the contamination is believed to be from Wolverine Worldwide Inc’s former waste dump site in Belmont. Company officials say they are working with the DEQ and are currently handing out bottled water and water filters to homes that could be effected.

Testing in the area for contamination is ongoing. The DEQ says nearly 70 properties are still being investigated.

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