The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy will host a series of regional webinars in September to educate the public on the latest investigations of sites contaminated by per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) substances as well as the cleanup efforts. The series of six webinars will inform public officials, legislators, residents and the general public about the new sites, an overview of cleanup criteria and health information.
PFAS is a group of potentially harmful contaminants that are used by companies like tanneries, clothing manufacturers and metal platers in products and applications. Known as “forever chemicals” because they can take thousands of years to degrade.
In August, the State of Michigan adopted new regulations limiting seven PFAS chemicals in municipal drinking water. The chemicals can sometimes be found in drinking water or cooking and packaging products. Some of the known health effects include: decreased fertility, pregnancy-induced hypertension, liver damage, thyroid disease, cholesterol level problems, immune system problems and increase likelihood of cancer.
The Michigan PFAS Action Response Team added 38 new sites across the state to their list of investigations, mostly landfills and former manufacturing sites. Earlier this year, the state launched a lawsuit against 17 different manufacturers of PFAS substances.
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