Read the full article by Arpan Lobo (Holland Sentinel)

“PARCHMENT TWP. — State officials are conducting a multi-year study to examine the effects of PFAS exposure in two West Michigan communities.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is conducting the Michigan PFAS Exposure and Health Study (MiPEHS) among individuals who lived in Parchment and Cooper Township in Kalamazoo County and the Belmont and Rockford areas of Kent County from 2005 to 2018.

The goal of the study, according to state officials, is to monitor the health outcomes of individuals who drank water in the areas. The study will take place from 2020-26.

PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) can cause health concerns like thyroid disease, kidney and testicular cancers as well as higher levels of cholesterol.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, PFAS can be found in stain- and water-repellent fabrics, nonstick products, polishes, waxes, paints, cleaning products and fire-fighting foams.

In 2018, state officials found high levels of PFAS compounds in the city of Parchment’s municipal water supply, which also supplied customers in Cooper Township.

In 2017, PFAS were found in water systems near Belmont, near a site where shoe company Wolverine formerly disposed of sludge used to tan pigskin.

Currently, around 130 people have signed up to be a part of MiPEHS, researchers are hoping that figure ends up around 4,000. Officials working on the study say by monitoring subjects over an extended timeframe, they can gain a better understanding of the long-term effects of PFAS exposure…”