Michiganders Advised to Avoid Foam on Lakes and Rivers

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has issued a press release warning residents to stay clear of foam on Michigan lakes, rivers, and streams. The foam is typically associated with bacteria or chemicals, specifically per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which resembles shaving cream and is bright white. The foam can blow onto beaches and pile up on shorelines. In contrast, naturally-occurring foam is typically seen in bays, eddies, or river barriers. It’s also off-white or brown and smells somewhat earthy or fishy.

Rinse or wash off foam as soon as contact is made, especially if PFAS contamination is suspected.

PFAS is an emerging toxic chemical and can be found in:

  • Food: packaged, processed, or grown in PFAS-contaminated areas
  • Household products: stain and water repellent fabrics, nonstick products (Teflon), waxes, paints, cleaning products, and fire-fighting foams (a significant source of groundwater contamination at airports and military bases)
  • Workplaces: production facilities or industrial buildings using chrome plating, electronics manufacturing, or oil recovery
  • Drinking water: near manufacturing plants, landfills, wastewater treatment plants, firefighter training facilities
  • Living organisms: fish, animals, humans, etc., where PFAS can build and persist over time.

PFAS can cause a multitude of health issues and are dubbed as “Forever Chemicals” because they never break down once they are released into the environment. PFAS are found in 99.9% of all Americans’ blood. They build up in our blood and organs, increasing the risk of cancer, harms fetuses, changes liver enzymes, increases cholesterol levels, while decreasing vaccine response in children, and more.

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS said, “Although current science shows that the risk of PFAS getting into your system from contact with skin is low, you can minimize exposure to PFAS by rinsing or showering after you are done with your recreational activities. In general, washing hands and rinsing off after swimming will help to protect people from chemicals and bacteria that may be in waterbodies.”

MDHHS recommends people of all ages steer clear of foamy water, including young children. PFAS foam typically has a much higher concentration of chemicals than what is generally seen in everyday environments. Dogs and other pets should also not come in contact with – or swallow – the foam.

To remove PFAS from your drinking water, contact the water purification experts at Reynolds Water today.

Reynolds Water Conditioning was established in 1931 and is Michigan’s oldest water conditioning treatment company. Still owned and operated by the Reynolds family, we take pride in providing the highest quality products at a cost-effective price. If your tap water lacks the quality you deserve, contact us today at www.reynoldswater.com or call 800-572-9575.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.