MDCH Finalizes Health Consultation for Sturgis

Contact: James McCurtis, Jr. (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

December 6, 2007

The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) has finalized the Public Health Consultation regarding chelated metals in groundwater in Sturgis. The consultation discusses whether people are being exposed to elevated concentrations of metals in private drinking water wells. The document contains comments received on the public-comment consultation.

Abbott Laboratories, Ross Products Division, located in Sturgis, discharges wastewater containing the chelator Ethylene Diamine Tetraacetic Acid (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.

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 Web site,, under "Health Assessments and Related Documents."

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