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MDHHS releases second North Kent County PFAS report

Findings to be shared at March 6 virtual webinars and March 13 in-person open house

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has released a second report with additional findings from the North Kent County Exposure Assessment (NKCEA). The NKCEA is a public health investigation to learn about the amount of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the blood of people drinking water from private drinking water wells in North Kent County.

In 2016, PFAS were found in residential drinking water wells in certain areas of northern Kent County. Concentrations of PFAS in drinking water wells ranged from not detectable to over 50,000 parts per trillion (ppt or nanograms per liter). Households located north of Grand Rapids with residential drinking water wells were eligible for the study if their wells had documented PFAS levels. MDHHS held clinics from November 2018 to June 2019 to measure the amount of PFAS in the blood of residents in these areas and collect exposure information using a survey.

This second report describes several findings:

  • For most NKCEA participants, residential drinking water wells were a major exposure source of certain PFAS.
  • Some participants had low concentrations of PFAS in their drinking water but still had PFAS in their blood, indicating that these participants had been exposed to PFAS from a source other than drinking water.
  • Significant predictors for increased amounts of PFAS in the blood of participants included estimated daily intake of PFAS from drinking water; increasing age; male sex; and eating fish caught in lakes, rivers and ponds.

MDHHS and Kent County Health Department representatives will be sharing findings from the second report and answering questions from the community during two upcoming webinars and an open house.

The webinars will be held Wednesday, March 6, at 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. To access this virtual meeting, visit to register for the Zoom webinar in the North Kent County Exposure Assessment description. People can also call 844-464-7327 to be registered over the phone.

The open house will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 13, at the Plainfield Township office at 6161 Belmont Ave NE in Belmont.

For questions about the NKCEA or to request a paper copy of the first or second reports, call the MDHHS Division of Environmental Health at 844-464-7327.

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