Aug 21, 2018

Emerging Contaminant PFAS Found in Kent County, Mich., Elementary School

The two emerging contaminants found do not have a federal advisory limit in place

Emerging contaminant PFAS found at Michigan elementary school
Emerging contaminant PFAS found at Michigan elementary school

Drinking water at the Alto Elementary School in Kent County, Mich., tested positive for per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS). According to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), two compounds were detected. PFHxS was found at 21 ppt and PFBS was found at 2 ppt. Currently, there are no federal health advisories for either compound, but the advisory for PFOS and PFOA–related PFAS chemicals–is set at a combined 70 ppt.

Parents of the approximately 500 students enrolled at the K-5 school were notified of the potential exposure Aug. 15. However, MDEQ and the Kent County Health Department gave the school permission to continue using the water for drinking and food preparation, as reported by MLive.

“Right now, they don’t have any immediate action for us to take,” Lowell Area Schools Superintendent Gregory Pratt said.

The Lowell municipal water supply, which serves other schools in the district, has not detected PFAS. DEQ has conducted a second round of sampling and is awaiting results.