As concerns of contaminated drinking water continues to grow, a number of Michigan advocacy groups traveled to Washington D.C. to demand the federal government take action.

It’s been over a year since Per-and-Poly fluorinated chemicals, known as PFAS were discovered in the drinking water supply for a number of Rockford and Belmont homes. Since then, there have been dozens of sites across the state of Michigan that have tested positive for the toxic chemicals, many well above the safety threshold set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Daniel Boothe / WGVU NPR

After the recent discovery of water contaminated with poly-fluorinated chemicals in surrounding communities, the city of Muskegon’s water supply has been tested--and the results are in. 

Governor Rick Snyder applauds PFAS hearing

Aug 31, 2018

An upcoming hearing on per-poly-fluorinated (PFAS) contamination by the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Environment is getting high praise from Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. According to a press release from the governor’s office, the fact that Carol Isaacs, the head of the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team has been invited to testify at the hearing, demonstrates that Michigan is moving into a leadership role when it comes to PFAS contamination.

The Michigan League of Conservation Voters along with State Representative Winnie Brinks on Wednesday called on the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to set a new enforceable drinking water standard for PFAS.  

The chemicals, widely used in things like ScotchGuard and firefighting foam, continue to turn up in drinking water supplies throughout the state of Michigan. If enough of the chemical is consumed, it can lead to a laundry list of health concerns, including liver and kidney cancer.

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A health report released Tuesday indicates a significantly higher than expected rate for prostate cancer in Northern Kent County private drinking wells tested for PFAS.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Kent County Health Department released cancer incident data as it pertains to PFAS found in two Northern Kent County combined zip codes private drinking wells. Think Belmont and Rockford where Wolverine World Wide dumped waste.

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Tests of a groundwater well in southwestern Michigan show chemical contamination levels far above federal guidelines. reports Tuesday that levels of perfluorooctanesulfonic acid of more than 900 parts per trillion and perfluorooctanoic acid over 800 parts per trillion were found in the Parchment-area well.

The newspaper says the government's lifetime health advisory is 70 parts per trillion for total PFOS and PFOA.

The substances are referred to as PFAS and are used in manufacturing, firefighting and thousands of household and consumer products.

Michigan officials say state agencies will be providing additional help for two communities near Kalamazoo dealing with chemical contamination of the public water system. 

The governor's office said Sunday that a state of emergency had been declared for Kalamazoo County over the health concerns in Parchment and Cooper Township, where water test results announced Thursday revealed high levels substances known as PFAS.

About 3,000 people on the affected system have been told not to drink or cook with the water, and thousands of cases of bottled water have been distributed.

A Michigan drug testing lab is among several private businesses tapping into the state's investigation of chemical contaminants.

Trident Labs added testing for perfluorinated chemicals, known as PFAS, in March after toxic contamination was identified at a former tannery near Rockford.

The Holland lab says it can produce PFAS testing results in five days for $250. The turnaround time and low cost is rare for environmental testing, where bills can total thousands of dollars.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has found high levels of chemical contaminants at a shuttered electro-plating company site in a southwestern township.

The department tested four residential wells and one commercial well last month near the former Production Plated Plastics property in Richland Township.

Gerald R. Ford International Airport

Tests have confirmed chemical contaminants in soil and groundwater at Cascade Township's Gerald R. Ford International Airport.

The western Michigan airport released a report Friday that shows elevated levels of PFAS, which stands for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances.

Airport officials say the levels are below state limits for drinking. They also say the airport will test some nearby residential wells.

PFAS compounds are used in food packaging and many consumer products. They're also found in firefighting foam used by airports and the military.