State urges residents of western Michigan to enroll in PFAS health study

LANSING, MI – People in western Michigan affected by PFAS are encouraged to participate in a state study to learn more about the impact the environmental contaminant may have on the health of residents.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services urges affected western Michigan residents to register with Michigan PFAS Exposure and Health Study, according to a press release from the MDHHS.

More people signing up will help ensure strong data collection and make the study as successful as possible, the statement said.

Related: Michigan gets $ 1 million to study links between PFAS and disease

The state’s health department launched the study in November 2020 with the aim of learning more about the relationship between PFAS and the health of residents who have been exposed to chemicals in their drinking water.

“To make the study as successful as possible, the MDHHS encourages residents to call to see if they are eligible and to register,” said Kory Groetsch, MDHHS director of environmental public health. “The more people who sign up, the better the study can show how exposure to PFAS affects health.”

Participants will take blood samples from one of two local survey offices: one near Parchment and Cooper Township in Kalamazoo County and one in Belmont and Rockford areas in Kent County. Both are sites where PFAS contamination has entered the local water supply for some residents.

Blood samples will be tested for PFAS levels and health markers, including cholesterol. Some attendees will also have their blood tested for PCBs, the statement said.

Anyone in these areas who wishes to join can call 855-322-3037 to confirm eligibility and register. As of February 24, 620 people have signed up for the study, the statement said.

Study officials implemented COVID-19 precautions for the safety of participants and staff.

“Measuring the amount of PFAS in the blood of people living in these study areas is an urgent task that cannot wait until the end of the pandemic,” Groetsch said.

Participants will receive their results free of charge and will be offered gift cards worth up to $ 55 as a reward for their time. To allow for the most comprehensive analysis and to track PFAS levels over time, participants will be asked to return to study offices two more times over the next five years.

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