MDCH Releases Public Health Consultation For Sturgis

Contact: T.J. Bucholz (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

September 19, 2007

The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) has released a draft public health consultation regarding chelated metals in groundwater in Sturgis. The consultation addresses whether people are being exposed to elevated concentrations of metals in private drinking water wells.

Abbott Laboratories, Ross Products Division, located in Sturgis, discharges wastewater containing the chelator EDTA to a land application site. Monitoring wells and drinking water wells down-gradient of the site have elevated concentrations of several naturally-occurring metals, which likely entered the groundwater bonded to EDTA.

Affected drinking water wells have been plugged. There is no current exposure and therefore no current public health hazard. Past exposure cannot be determined with certainty. Future exposure likely will not occur because groundwater monitoring is continuing.

There will be a public meeting regarding this consultation on October 10, 7 PM, at the Sturgis Township Hall, corner of US 12 and White School Road in Sturgis. MDCH invites the public to review the public health consultation and offer comments on it, either in writing or at the public meeting. Copies of the public health consultation are available for public review at the Sturgis Public Library, 255 North Street, Sturgis. The consultation is also available on-line at the Division of Environmental Health website,, under "Health Assessments and Related Documents."

Information and comments should be addressed to Christina Bush, Toxicologist, Michigan Department of Community Health, Division of Environmental Health, Capitol View Building, P.O. Box 30195, Lansing, Michigan 48909, or to People may also call the toll-free telephone number of 1-800-648-6942 (1-800-MI TOXIC). Comments on the public health consultation must be received by October 25, 2007. All comments received will be evaluated and considered and responses will be provided in the final version of the Consultation.

The Division of Environmental Health conducted the public health consultation under a cooperative agreement with the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). Information concerning the human health effects of exposure to environmental contaminants, such as cobalt and nickel, can be found on the ATSDR web page at