By Scott Bolthouse—Hub Editor—ScottBolthouse@HuronHub.com
It’s been a rough month for the Huron River.
After the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services warned residents at the beginning of September that fish from the river are not safe to eat, they are now issuing another warning advising those on the river not to swallow foam that might be floating on the surface of the water.
The foam, according to the department, contains the same chemicals that are causing fish from the river to be deemed inedible.
“MDHHS is advising residents to avoid swallowing foam on the Huron River as it may contain high amounts of PFAS. This advisory is being issued as a precaution because of high amounts of PFAS in Huron River surface water and fish, and based on foam test PFAS results from other Michigan waterbodies,” the department said in a statement.
“It is recommended that visitors to the Huron River avoid swallowing foam on the water during recreational activities, though an accidental swallow of water is not considered a health concern. Residents are also encouraged to wash their hands after touching foam to avoid swallowing PFAS that might be on your hands. Skin contact with the foam or water is not considered a health concern because current science indicates that PFAS do not move easily through the skin.
Additionally, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development recommends that people not allow their pets – especially dogs – to come into contact with or swallow the foam. Dogs can potentially swallow foam collected in their fur when grooming themselves. Dogs should be thoroughly rinsed off with fresh water after contact with foamy water.”
Residents with health-related questions can call the MDHHS at 800-648-6742. For questions about the environmental investigation, contact the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality at 800-662-9278.