Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a large group of man-made chemicals that are fire resistant, and repel oil, stains, grease, and water. PFAS do not occur naturally, are widely used in industry and consumer products, and do not break down easily in the environment. It is not uncommon to find low levels of PFAS in drinking water supplies. PFAS can be found in fire-fighting foams, stain repellents, nonstick cookware, waterproof clothing, food wrappers, and many other household products.
The potential health effects from PFAS in humans is not well understood. Some PFAS can stay in people’s bodies for a long time. PFAS are found in people, wildlife and fish all over the world. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are working with various partners to better understand how exposure to PFAS might affect people’s health.
As a precautionary step, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) is testing drinking water for PFAS statewide in community (municipal) water supplies and all schools that use well water. The status of the testing and results can be found on the Michigan PFAS Response website.
In addition, the EGLE is also requiring airports with a history of using PFAS-containing firefighting foam to determine if PFAS is present in nearby groundwater used for drinking. The determination is being made by testing water samples taken from wells in select homes near the Muskegon County Airport. EGLE is contacting property owners near the Airport to ask permission and arrange testing of well water for PFAS. Testing results and any additional needed actions are shared with the individual property owners.
If you have additional questions or concerns regarding PFAS, you can contact: