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Elevated PFAS levels at Robinson Elementary School
October 29, 2018
The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) is working with the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS), Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Grand Haven Public Schools after being notified on October 29 of elevated levels of PFAS at Grand Haven’s Robinson Elementary School. School leaders immediately restricted access to drinking water in the building; bottled water is being provided to the school through the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Emergency Management Division and DHHS. The DEQ has taken a second sampled of the school's water and expects the results on October 31. Other than Robinson Elementary, all other schools in the Grand Haven Area Public School District are served by Northwest Ottawa Water System. This system has been tested and the results were below health advisory levels. The district is working closely with every agency involved to keep families informed and up-to-date on any developments in this situation.
Initial test results for Robinson Elementary received by DEQ today found combined PFOS and PFOA levels of 110 parts per trillion (ppt) which is above the EPA Health Advisory Level of 70 ppt. Total PFAS levels for the school were measured at 144 ppt. Drinking is the primary way PFAS can get into the body. Washing hands and other skin contact is not considered a health concern as PFAS does not move easily through skin. Once the school’s water test results come back the DEQ will determine the next steps for households and businesses in the area served by groundwater.
If you are concerned about exposure please contact the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Toxicology hotline at 1-800-648-6942.
More information and previous testing results are available at www.michigan.gov/pfasresponse/.
Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), such as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), are part of a group of chemicals used globally during the past century in manufacturing, firefighting and thousands of common household and other consumer products.
Robinson Elementary’s PFAS results were identified as part of the state-wide proactive study of PFAS levels in groundwater. The Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART) is nearing completion of a sampling program that includes 461 schools with wells and 1,380 public water supplies. To date, 381 schools have been sampled and 294 laboratory results have been received. Of that number 266 schools tested were non-detects for PFAS and 28 schools had combined PFOS and PFOA detections below the EPA Health Advisory Level of 70 ppt.