What are PFAS?
PFAS are a family of chemicals used in firefighting foam, but also in everyday consumer products like pizza boxes, fast food wrappers, shoes, cosmetics, clothing and non-stick cookware. The chemicals are complex, uniquely able to repel water, oil and stains, but not easily broken down in the environment or our bodies.
Even at low levels, PFAS can cause cancers, thyroid disorders, diabetes, elevated cholesterol and more. The impacts on children are even more pronounced. EPA scientists have found the chemical in 98% of blood samples collected. With Michigan topping the national list for PFAS contamination, we’re sure to feel the effects of PFAS for generations to come.
WE’RE NOT PROTECTED. THERE IS NO SAFE STANDARD FOR PFAS.
- To keep our families safe, we need enforceable standards for drinking water. The EPA level reported in the media of 70 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFAS is an unenforceable, advisory-only recommendation — and only covers PFOA and PFOS, just two out of approximately 4,000 PFAS chemicals.
- Michigan has no drinking water standard to protect families from exposure to PFAS. Other states have adopted standards as low as 13 and 14 ppt. A recently released federal study suggests standards as low as 7 ppt and 11 ppt, and a study by Harvard University calls for a standard of 1 ppt.
PFAS IMPACTS OUR HEALTH & STAYS IN OUR BODIES FOR DECADES
- Even at low levels, PFAS chemicals are tied to diseases and illnesses where the human body turns against itself, including autoimmune problems like diabetes, thyroid and skin conditions, decreased fertility, high cholesterol, kidney and testicular cancers.
- Children and pregnant women are particularly at risk. Studies indicate problems such as lower birth weight and size, obesity, decreased immune response to vaccines, reduced hormone levels and delayed puberty.
- Our bodies process PFAS very slowly, and the chemicals build up in our systems over time. A person ingesting PFOA or PFOS today will not completely eliminate them from their body for years.
PFAS ARE EVERYWHERE
- Communities with PFAS contamination include: Oscoda, Grayling, Plainfield, Rockford, Marquette, Escanaba, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Harrison Township, Battle Creek, Richland Township, Parchment, Portage, Grand Rapids.
- There are at least 11,300 more sites that might be contaminated with PFAS, including: car washes, fire stations, oil refineries, plastics and paper mills, military bases, landfills, automotive molding factories, metal plating facilities, etc.
- PFAS chemicals are in our fish, our deer and other animals we eat. “Do Not Eat” fish advisories have been issued in major Michigan rivers, including the Au Sable and the Huron River watershed.
WE COULD HAVE ACTED SOONER – DEMAND ANSWERS!
- In 2012, a report from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) showed clearly that PFAS was a public health crisis and laid out steps to begin addressing it to protect people. For six years, the State of Michigan failed to act on the warnings; the public was kept in the dark and families were hurt.
WAYS YOU CAN PROTECT YOUR FAMILY
- Buy a PFAS tap water filter
- Professionally install a reverse-osmosis carbon filtration water system
- Demand your water is tested and you know the results
- Insist on a full response from the state and federal government