“PARCHMENT, MI — Documents show PFAS manufactured by 3M were used at a paper mill in Parchment, where the toxic compounds were found contaminating the water supply for 3,100 people.

According to a 1994 chemical safety document obtained by MLive/Kalamazoo Gazette, a perfluoroalkyl polymer was a main ingredient in an oil and grease-repellent called ‘Scotchban FX-845.’ The repellent, patented by Minnesota manufacturing giant 3M, was used in laminated products produced by Fort James Corp. in Parchment…

The document shows products now known to contain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) were once used at Parchment’s shuttered paper mill. Former landfills used to dump paper-making waste are the likely source of contamination found in Parchment’s water supply, according to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

The 1994 Material Safety Data Sheet was found by the city of Kalamazoo as part of an investigation into sources of PFAS contamination in Parchment’s water system. Kalamazoo treats wastewater discharged from Parchment and received the MSDS documents to be made aware of hazardous chemicals.

Scotchban was used in various consumer products that resist grease, water and oil, including microwave popcorn packages. It was discontinued when 3M began phasing out products based on PFOS, one of many PFAS compounds, in 2000.

The FDA approved the product to use in food paper packaging in 1987. Almost 30 years later, the FDA removed the approval after 3M discontinued use of PFOS products.

Tom Neltner, chemicals policy director for the Environmental Defense Fund, said the FDA failed to protect residents from PFOS…

On July 31, the DEQ began taking samples from 14 monitoring wells on an 84-acre landfill formerly used to hold waste associated with paper-making processes. Results from the tests have not been completed.

The landfill sits less than a mile south from Parchment’s wellfield, which was found to be ‘highly susceptible to potential contaminants’ by the DEQ in 2002.

Meanwhile, 3M is facing a lawsuit in Kent County, where 400 people whose drinking water was contaminated are seeking damages. Last month, Gov. Rick Snyder asked Attorney General and GOP gubernatorial candidate Bill Schuette to sue 3M over groundwater contamination linked to its products…

Monday, DEQ received PFAS test results for 102 private wells in Parchment and Cooper Township. A release from the Kalamazoo County Department of Health and Community Services states residents are being notified as results are received.

Requests for the results by MLive/Kalamazoo Gazette weren’t granted Wednesday.

Dean said wells with the highest PFAS levels were generally found close to the Crown Vantage site. He did not give a range of levels found in private wells as of Wednesday evening, but said the largest amount found was around 340 ppt.”

Read the full article by Malachi Barrett