Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a large group of man-made chemicals that include perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS). PFAS have been used globally during the past century in manufacturing, firefighting and thousands of common household and other consumer products. These chemicals are persistent in the environment and in the human body – meaning they don’t break down and they can accumulate over time. In recent years, experts have become increasingly concerned by the potential effects of high concentrations of PFAS on human health.
Welcome to the M-LEEaD PFAS Response page! Here you will find materials generated by the center and others regarding PFAS contamination in Michigan.
Please keep in mind that the NIEHS P30 M-LEEaD Center does not endorse information found on any links/supplemental materials provided on this page. The Community Engagement and Outreach Core of the M-LEEaD Center is not intended to give medical, legal, political, social, or economic advice.
Keynote address by Linda S. Birnbaum, PhD, DABT, ATS (Director (retired), Scientist Emeritus, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and National Toxicology Program)
• “The Challenges of PFAS” Dr. Birnbaum will review what is known about the health effects of PFAS (human and animal) and the similarities with PBB. She will describe the extent of exposure to PFAS and the value of community engaged research. • Presentations by community residents and academic researchers working on PBB and PFAS health impacts, as well as breakout groups focused on strategies for building effective community-academic collaborations:
Michele Marcus, PhD (Emory University’s Michigan PBB Registry);
Jane Keon (Pine River Superfund Citizen Task Force);
Francis Spaniola (former Michigan State Representative);
Tony Spaniola, JD (creator Michigan Cancer Registry);
Courtney Carignan, PhD (Michigan State University);
Monica Lewis-Patrick (President & CEO, We the People of Detroit);
COMMUNITY PANELISTS: Sandy Wynn-Stelt (Rockford); Theresa Landrum (Detroit); Lawrence Reynolds (Flint); Donele Wilkins (Detroit); Tim Neyer (Mt. Pleasant).
Description: “PFAS” is short for per- or polyfluoroalkyl substances – a family of chemicals used to make common household products and waterproof clothing. They’re being found in an increasing number of drinking water sources, and research is only beginning to determine the health effects and what treatments there might be.
Webinar: “Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Webinar” with Rick Rediske, PhD (Grand Valley State University), Detlef Knappe, PhD (North Carolina State University) and Rita Loch-Caruso, PhD (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)
Description: This webinar describes the unfolding PFAS groundwater contamination events in southwest Michigan. Panelists describe the process of building scientific knowledge about the scope of the contamination and its public health impacts, and potential solutions to groundwater contamination with PFAS and similar chemicals.
Sponsor: Michigan Center on Lifestage Environmental Exposures and Disease (M-LEEaD)
Audio: “Issues Of The Environment: PFAs Contamination Throughout Michigan And In Washtenaw County” interview with Rita Loch-Caruso, PhD (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)
Description: Chemicals known as PFAs have found their way in Washtenaw County's drinking water, and that can lead to numerous health and environmental problems. In this week's “Issues of the Environment,” WEMU’s David Fair talks about this situation with Dr. Rita Loch-Caruso, toxicologist and Professor of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Michigan.