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PFAS Exposure Assessment to Launch in North Kent County

KCHD CONTACT: Steve Kelso, 616-632-7274,

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and Kent County Health Department (KCHD) will begin recruiting participants for the North Kent County per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) Exposure Assessment. Outreach to eligible households will begin this month and residents are invited to attend a community meeting on November 27, 2018 to learn more.

MDHHS and KCHD will host a community meeting on November 27 at Northview High School (4451 Hunsberger Avenue NE, Grand Rapids) to describe the North Kent County PFAS Exposure Assessment and answer questions. Doors will open at 6 p.m. and presentations will begin at 6:30 p.m.

During November, MDHHS will begin contacting selected households to participate in this assessment. MDHHS will continue to invite households to participate through Spring 2019.

The PFAS Exposure Assessment will evaluate the relationship between drinking water with PFAS and the amount in the body. The assessment will include collecting people’s blood for PFAS testing and information on their activities that could result in PFAS exposure. Kent County was chosen for this assessment because no other area in Michigan has as many wells exceeding the advisory level nor are any test results as high.

Households will be chosen from those that have a drinking water well located within the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) North Kent County environmental investigation area and whose drinking water well has been tested by the DEQ or by Wolverine Worldwide’s contractor and found to have PFAS. Not all residents who had PFAS found in their water will be selected to participate in this assessment. More information about eligibility will be shared at the community meeting.

MDHHS and KCHD are working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the DEQ to investigate PFAS contamination in the county. The DEQ will host a public meeting in early 2019 to provide updates on the full environmental investigation in the area.

For more information about the State of Michigan's PFAS response, visit the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team website