Surveillance finds PFAS in water in Michigan community

EAST BAY TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) – State environmental regulators are investigating whether some residents of a northern Michigan community have used drinking water contaminated with chemicals.

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

State and local authorities are holding an online public meeting Monday night to explain the discovery and planned investigation in East Bay Township, outside Traverse City.

The Michigan Department of the 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 which remain unclogged.

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

They are increasingly present in public water supplies and private wells across the country.

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