State urges more residents to enroll in PFAS study

Toxic Tap Water

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The state health department is urging more West Michigan residents to sign up for a study that is looking into the impacts PFAS has had in the drinking water around Rockford and Parchment.

The Michigan PFAS Exposure and Health Study was launched in November 2020 to learn more about the likely carcinogen that was found in private wells in the Belmont area in 2017. It was also found in the municipal system that serves Parchment and surrounding areas in 2018.

Several lawsuits have been filed against companies blamed for the contamination.

Those who participate in the study will provide blood samples that will be tested for PFAS levels and health markers. Some blood samples may also test for PCBs. Participants will also take a survey to collect more information on health and exposure.

As of now, health officials say 620 people have signed up for the five-year study.

“The more people that join, the better the study can show how PFAS exposure affects health. Our study offices have implemented a number of COVID-19 precautions for the safety of staff and participants. Measuring the amount of PFAS in the blood of people living in these study areas is a time-sensitive task that cannot wait until the pandemic is over,” said Kory Groetsch with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Blood PFAS results can be received for free and a gift card of up to $55 will be offered.

Anyone living in those areas and wants to enroll in the study can call 855.322.3037.

More information on the study can be found on the state’s website.

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