Michigan extends PFAS chemical warnings for Huron River

The Huron River in Huron Township (Photo by Scott Bolthouse)

By Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub |

Published March 27, 2019 — 1:30 p.m. EST

Now that the weather is turning for the better, people all over southeast Michigan will look to our local rivers and other bodies of water for recreation.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is extending a warning first issued last August regarding unsafe PFAS levels in the Huron River.

According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, PFAS are man-made chemicals that have been used in industry and consumer products worldwide since the 1950s.

They have been used in non-stick cookware, water-repellent clothing, stain resistant fabrics and carpets, some cosmetics, some firefighting foams, and products that resist grease, water, and oil.

Back in August, MDHHS said fish from the Huron River are not safe to eat due to high PFAS levels.

Officials say touching the fish or water and swimming in these water bodies is not considered a health concern as PFAS do not move easily through the skin.

An occasional swallow of river or lake water is also not considered a health concern.

However, those on the Huron River were warned in September not to swallow foam that might be floating on the surface of the water.

The foam, according to MDHHS, contained the same chemicals that are causing fish from the river to be deemed inedible.

The do not eat advisory for the Huron River starts where N. Wixom Road crosses in Oakland County and extends downstream to the mouth of the Huron River as it enters Lake Erie in Wayne County. This includes:

Norton Creek (Oakland County)
Hubbell Pond, also known as Mill Pond (Oakland County)
Kent Lake (Oakland County)
Ore Lake (Livingston County)
Strawberry & Zukey Lake (Livingston County)
Gallagher Lake (Livingston County)
Loon Lake (Livingston County)
Whitewood Lakes (Livingston County)
Base Line & Portage Lakes (Livingston/Washtenaw County line)
Barton Pond (Washtenaw County)
Geddes Pond (Washtenaw County)
Argo Pond (Washtenaw County)
Ford Lake (Washtenaw County)
Bellville Lake (Wayne County)

For current guidelines relating to PFAS fish contamination, visit Michigan.gov/pfasresponse. For more information about the Eat Safe Fish guidelines, visit Michigan.gov/eatsafefish.



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