Jul 24, 2019

Michigan City Looks Back One Year After PFAS Exposure

PFAS concentrations exceeded 26 times the federal health advisory in 2018

PFAS concentrations exceeded 26 times the federal health advisory in 2018

In Parchment, Mich., residents are still concerned about the per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) found in drinking water one year ago.

According to MLive, officials found PFAS concentrations measured 26 times the federal government’s health advisory, prompting residents to receive tap water from Kalamazoo. However, residents with private wells that were contaminated now use filters in their homes to keep their water safe. 

Local residents sued 3M and Georgia-Pacific for the introduction of PFAS into the city’s water system. According to MLive, the residents’ attorneys are trying to allot other residents to join the lawsuit. 

Testing for material left from previous industrial practices are ongoing and could lead to remediation of the area. According to MLive, high concentrations of PFAS were found in all municipal water wells in 2018. 

Parchment City Manager Nancy Stoddard released information after PFAS exposure was identified at dangerous levels July 26, 2018. According to MLive, residents were instructed to stop using tap water and were provided with bottled soon after.

The city was connected to Kalamazoo’s water system within about 72 hours, Parchment Mayor Robert D. Britigan II said. Citizens were informed they could drinking from the faucets again by the end of August, according to MLive

“The one remaining concern is, okay, what kind of health issues might be lingering or how long have I been exposed to it?” Britigan said, according to MLive

Mayor Britigan said the city coordinating a PFAS exposure assessment that most likely will take place in the fall.

“Then, as a result of that, and funding opportunities, we’ll be looking at possibly a health study to kind of be able to chart what the health effects of PFAS exposure are," Britigan said, according to MLive. “So that’s kind of the one remaining unknown. Yeah, that’s out there. That’s on people’s minds."