PFAS, commonly called “forever chemicals” because they take thousands of years to break down, are a class of more than 4,700 different manufactured chemicals. PFAS is an acronym that stands for Poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances. They are linked to various health problems and PFAS contamination is a rising issue in Michigan and across the United States.
According to the state of Michigan, there are more than 11,000 potential contaminated sites in Michigan, and the drinking water of nearly 2 million Michiganders has been detected to have some level of PFAS
What does PFAS do to humans?
Research shows that high levels of PFAS may lead to the following: increased cholesterol levels, changes in liver enzymes, small decreases in infant birth weights, decreased vaccine response in children, increased risk of high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia in pregnant women, and increased risk of kidney or testicular cancer.
PFAS exposure happens when a person breathes, eats, drinks, or touches a chemical and it enters the body — but the most common exposure to PFAS is through drinking water.
How do you get exposed to PFAS?
Exposure to PFAS can come from living near a contaminated site, using consumer products with PFAS (food packaging, stain-resistant clothing, etc.), eating venison or freshwater fish with PFAS contamination or food grown and raised in PFAS contaminated soil or water, drinking water with high levels of PFAS.
Can you filter for PFAS?
NSF has compiled a list of recommended water filtration for PFAS. The number one recommendation is a reverse osmosis filter, which can be costly. A less expensive, but not as effective option is granular activated carbon filters.
To learn more about drinking water filtration and to search for a NSF certified filter to remove PFOS/PFOA, visit nsf.org.
Why is PFAS such a problem?
According to the state of Michigan, there are more than 11,000 sites in Michigan that are potentially contaminated with PFAS, and the drinking water of nearly 2 million Michiganders has been detected to have some level of the toxic chemicals.
What impacts does PFAS have on the environment?
Just as PFAS makes its way into the bloodstreams of humans through drinking water, it also makes its way into the bloodstreams of fish and wildlife. A study from Environmental Working Group found eating one freshwater fish equals a month of drinking ‘forever chemicals’ water
What is PFAS found in?
PFAS is used most commonly in water-resistant and stain-resistant materials. PFAS can be found in anything from clothing, furniture, food packaging, makeup, child car seats, fire fighting foam, and so much more.
FIRE FIGHTING FOAM
I’ve been grappling with toxic PFAS contamination and its health impacts for years. Michigan LCV has been with me every step of the way with the tools to get meaningful action on cleaning up our drinking water.
We're fighting for a PFAS-free Michigan.
Get involved and help us fight for stricter regulations on PFAS, polluter accountability, and safe drinking water for all in Michigan.
What are we doing about it?
REPEAL NO STRICTER THAN FEDERAL
SB 14 (2023-2024) repeals PA 602 of 2018 which stifled Michigan’s ability to set unique, best-fit standards to protect our environment and the health of Michiganders by barring state agencies from adopting environmental protections that are stronger than parallel federal standards
TRANSFORMATIONAL WATER INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENTS
SB 565 (2021-2022) is a $4.7 billion investment in our state’s aging water infrastructure, state parks, roads and bridges, and more. The bill includes provisions for lead pipeline replacement, wastewater and stormwater system upgrades, drinking water infrastructure
ANOTHER BROKEN BOTTLE BILL
HB 4444 (2021-2022) enable the shifting of money dedicated to the state’s bottle deposit fund (and contaminated site clean up) towards beverage distributors, reducing the state’s ability to address the more than 24,000 registered contaminated sites across Michigan
PFAS FIRE FIGHTING FOAM RULES, REGULATIONS & TAKE BACKS
HB 4389, 4390, 4391 (2019-2020) bans the use of PFAS firefighting foam in firefighting training, and requires proper training for the emergency use, handling, storage, disposal and personnel cleanup of PFAS foam
Keeping the Community Informed
In the last three years, we’ve knocked on 35,731 doors to spread awareness about PFAS and inform Michiganders on how they can protect themselves and others from toxic PFAS contamination.
Elevating PFAS in the Media
We know the best way to spread the word about PFAS contamination is to keep it in the news cycle. We work with journalists across the state to keep PFAS top of mind in the newsroom so this information continues to hit households across the state.