Monitoring finds PFAS in some water in Michigan community

Traverse City Record-Eagle

East Bay Township – State environmental regulators are looking into whether some residents in a northern Michigan community have been using drinking water contaminated with chemicals.

Groundwater monitoring wells have returned elevated results for PFAS – perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, the Traverse City Record-Eagle reported.

State and local officials are hosting an online town hall meeting Monday night to explain the discovery and the planned investigation in East Bay Township, outside Traverse City.

Michigan’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy wants to test the private water wells of about 20 homes and one business, and about a half-dozen irrigation wells in the area that remain uncapped.

The chemicals have been used for decades in products ranging from nonstick cookware to stain-resistant clothing and food containers, as well as foam used to extinguish jet-fuel fires. They’re known as “forever chemicals” because they persist indefinitely in the environment without breaking down.

They have increasingly turned up in public water supplies and private wells around the country.

Studies have linked the chemicals to testicular cancer, damage to organs including the liver and kidneys, and reproductive system harm.