Toxic Chemicals Found in Drinking Water near Detroit

DETROIT (AP) — Drinking water in three southeastern communities tested positive for contamination, according to state environmental officials.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality found perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS, in water in New Baltimore, Mount Clemens and Ira Township, reported . The agency tested groundwater and treated drinking water in the area in January.

The department issued letters March 2 alerting residents to the presence of the substances, which have been used in non-stick cookware, stain resistant fabrics and firefighting foams. The chemicals have been linked to cancer, thyroid disorders, elevated cholesterol and other diseases.

Current contamination levels don’t pose any significant danger, the department said.

“I want to assure the residents of the city that their water is safe to drink and that a boil water advisory has not been issued,” New Baltimore Mayor John Dupray said. “I will be attending a meeting with the MDEQ early next week to discuss this issue in greater detail. We strive to provide the highest quality water possible and will continue to do so.”

The contamination is believed to have originated in Lake St. Clair, though the exact source is unknown.

Last year, Gov. Rick Snyder announced that the state is committed to spending more than $23 million to combat PFAS contamination.

Plainfield Township, the Saginaw-Midland Corp., Huron Shores Regional Water Authority system in Tawas, Ann Arbor, Grayling and the village of Sparta have also detected PFAS in their water.

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