What is PFAS?
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of man-made chemicals that includes PFOA, PFOS, GenX, and many other chemicals. PFAS are very persistent in the environment and in the human body, which means they don’t break down and accumulate over time.
These chemicals were widely used at industrial facilities in Michigan, in firefighting foam at airports and military bases, and in everyday consumer products like pizza boxes, fast food wrappers, stain-resistant furniture and carpeting, clothing and shoes, cosmetics, and non-stick cookware. Even at low-levels, PFAS has been linked to cancers, autoimmune disorders, thyroid disorders, diabetes, elevated cholesterol, and other diseases.
The state of Michigan estimates nearly 1.9 million Michigan residents could be impacted by water contaminated with PFAS. The results of a 2018 state-wide sampling of water supplies found 119 public water systems contain some level of PFAS, and 59 schools or daycares have been found to contain some level of the contaminant.
Fisherman surrounded by foam created by PFAS.
PFAS contamination is indicated by the foam in the water.
Have You Been Exposed?
Given the prevalence of PFAS in materials and food we interact with on a daily basis, it is likely you have PFAS in your system. If you are concerned you may have PFAS in your drinking water, you can visit the state of Michigan’s PFAS Response site, which lists contamination sites and water systems where PFAS has been detected.