PFAS exposure study launches in Kent County

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The first batch of recruitment letters for a study on the effects of exposure to PFAS went out to residents in Belmont and elsewhere in the Rockford area Monday.

A public meeting at Northview High School Tuesday evening aimed to give people who live in the study zone a better understanding of the North Kent County PFAS Exposure Assessment.

The assessment is the start of learning about the health effects of drinking water tainted with PFAS, a likely carcinogen that has also been linked to other illnesses. It will look at the level of PFAS in people's blood and compare it with the amount of PFAS in the water to see if there is a correlation.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Kent County Health Department are teaming up to run the study. Officials hope to get 400 participants from homes with well water that tested above the PFAS safety advisory limit of 70 parts per trillion and 400 from homes with wells that tested below that threshold.

"We found out our well was just above 70 parts per trillion," said Ryan Rittner, who was at the meeting.

He and his family have been drinking PFAS-contaminated water for roughly five years, which means they may be asked to take part in the assessment.

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