Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a family of over 3,000 man made chemicals that began being produced in the mid 1900s. PFAS are extremely stable chemical compounds. They have many industrial applications such as firefighting foam, waterproofing, and insecticides. As you can see their applications would possibly lead to widespread ground applications and potential entry into the ecosystem and eventually the food chain.
The problem with PFAS is their stability. They don’t breakdown easily leading to everyone on earth having them in their system. PFAS is linked to bladder, liver, and testicular cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity, and endocrine disorders.
Until April, 2018 areas in Richland Township being tested for other contaminants at the Production Plated Plastics site were never tested for PFAS. That testing was added in April, 2018 when they were found be way above the acceptable level established by EPA of 70 parts-per-trillion.
For more information on this local ground water contaminant follow the links below used as references.
On July 31, 2018, mlive reported that PFAS were found in the Parchment water system as well. Because Parchment is so close to Kalamazoo, Parchment is racing to connect to the Kalamazoo water system. In the past communities with less than 10,000 residents utilizing their water source did not have to perform this testing. That is changing. Parchment is remedying the situation by distributing bottled water until the connection to the Kalamazoo water system is complete. A more permanent solution is being sought. For more local information on PFAS contamination look to mlive.
https://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2018/07/pfas_parchment_test_results_we.html was a resource for this article.
Post written by Denise Clegg