Map | Here are confirmed PFAS threats to Michigan water

Michigan’s list of contaminated sites is likely to grow as the state continues to test all public water systems and schools that tap well water.

Roughly 3,100 residents of Parchment and parts of Cooper Townships were told last week not to drink their water — adding the Kalamazoo County communities to a growing list of those grappling with PFAS contamination.

This map shows where PFAS has been confirmed in Michigan.

PFAS sites in Michigan

Here’s a look at communities where Michigan environmental regulators have found contaminations of PFAS, a once commonly used industrial chemical. Click on the dots for a brief summary of each site. Note: The data is current as of July 30.

Source: Michigan Department of Environmental Quality

Officially called perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, the group of chemicals had been used to manufacture everything from Teflon and Scotchgard water repellent to firefighting foam.

It’s now a national concern.

Early research suggests PFAS compounds may be linked to developmental and behavioral problems for infants and children, hormonal problems and even certain cancers. A growing number of military veterans and others who believe they were exposed to PFAS are wondering if the chemicals triggered their health problems.

Two of the most prevalent types of PFAS are called PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) and PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate), but there are thousands of different compounds.

The EPA has set a lifetime health advisory for PFOA and PFOS at 70 parts per trillion, but federal research recently made public suggests exposure could be harmful at much lower levels.

At some Michigan sites, officials have detected PFAS levels below the EPA threshold. Other sites have registered levels exponentially higher.

In Parchment, known as the “Paper City” because of the shuttered paper mill that long operated there, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley on Sunday declared a state of emergency after a test detected PFAS at more than 20-times the EPA health advisory level. Residents are now receiving bottled water.

The list of contaminated sites is likely to grow as Michigan continues to test all public water systems and schools that tap well water for the chemicals — a process it kicked off in May.

PFAS may have been used or disposed of at as many as 11,300 fire stations, landfills, airports, military sites and other locations, according to a Michigan Department of Environmental Quality presentation first reported by the Detroit Free Press.

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Comments

Trifle
Tue, 07/31/2018 - 8:39am

Given the PFAS threat, the Flint debacle, the widespread water quality concerns due to Michigan's deteriorating drinking water infrastructure, and the state's sweetheart deal with Nestle, Michigan should change its nickname from "The Great Lakes State" to "The Bottled Water State".

Gerry Niedermaier
Tue, 07/31/2018 - 9:45am

Is there a site that identifies the city or specific location so we know where these are?

Jim Malewitz
Tue, 07/31/2018 - 9:53am

Thanks for reading, Gerry. If you click on a dot, you should see the city/township name and more information about the contamination detected at that site.

Kim
Tue, 07/31/2018 - 12:05pm

I want to know how this can go unchecked, I live In Mason and had my water checked there and I was told that normal residents would have a test result of 5 to 7, mine was 209. And then I was told it was nothing wrong. I see City reports from water test all the time posted for the public to see, how can they post these knowing that this has been going on I was on? They always post these tests and say there's nothing wrong and everything. How is this still happening? I know something is happening in Jackson because we do not drink the city water, we don't use the spigot for anything except washing our hands and dishes and we notice that people around us are losing their minds...

Cheryl Little
Tue, 07/31/2018 - 2:17pm

People try to stay healthy by exercise and healthy eating only to be burdened with poisoning from factories and unknown sources.

Renée
Tue, 07/31/2018 - 6:01pm

I'm concerned because the bottled spring water that I drink is showing a source of Jackson Michigan. So I'm concerned that that spring in Jackson is going to become contaminated at some point, too. And of course I won't know about it since they're keeping it from us.

Rob Owen
Tue, 07/31/2018 - 9:01pm

It's sad that when you entrust people to provide you with clean water, they give you tainted, poisonous water and still they talk about water prices going up.
I am from Flint, MI, I've lived here for 32 year and the day they switched to using the river water, I could tell the difference. My older brother ignored my decries that the water was bad and drank it until they officially told us there was a problem - he got non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, luckily he beat it. I haven't drank the water since 2004 but I shower in it and a lot of these dangerous chemicals can get in your body through skin absorption, especially if you take hot showers. Everyone is talking about the lead, the lead's bad and it can stunt child development and cause long term problem, but these PFAs are more detrimental in the short term.
There was a chemical, I can't recall the name of it, but it was created as a byproduct of them putting too much of the chlorine based chemical in Flint's water to clean, this is what cause the pipes to breakdown and the whole lead emergency. Keep in mind, all this happened under Federal Emergency Management, as Flint had been under Emergency Management for around 4 years up until recently, so people in the State government are up to no good or criminally negligent.
As if we didnt have enough problems here in Flint...

Jared-Pierce
Sun, 08/05/2018 - 3:50pm

Well just to be safe I suggest testing the bottled water just saying....