Elevated levels of industrial chemicals found in Flint River
State regulators say they've detected elevated levels of a group of toxic chemicals in the Flint River and its tributaries that apparently came from an industrial facility in the eastern Michigan city of Lapeer. The Department of Environmental Quality said Monday it discovered the chemicals in samples taken from Lapeer's sewage collection system.
The chemicals are called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS. They're used in many industrial applications and products including firefighting foams and non-stick cookware. Because they don't degrade in the environment, they can accumulate in fish and wildlife. The DEQ says an electroplating facility is a "significant source" of the chemicals. They are jointly working to stop the discharge.
Officials say the issue isn't related to the lead contamination and other issues with Flint's drinking water.