Officials warn of contaminants in western Michigan ponds

Posted at 9:45 AM, Jul 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-01 09:50:57-04

State and Kent County health officials are asking people not to eat fish from some western Michigan ponds due to elevated levels of industrial chemical contaminants.

The advisory was issued Friday after elevated levels of perfluorooctane sulfonate were found in surface water from ponds near the Boulder Creek development in Belmont, northeast of Grand Rapids.

Officials say it's reasonable to expect fish in the ponds also may have elevated levels.

Officials also are recommending that people using the Thornapple River in Kent County avoid swallowing foam on the water. Water samples taken downstream of the Cascade Dam show high levels of chemical contaminants.

The advisories are part of an effort by the state to deal with emerging contaminants — perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances — known as PFAS.

The chemicals were long used in firefighting, waterproofing, carpeting and other products.