MDHHS encourages residents of impacted W. Michigan communities to enroll in PFAS Health Study

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 3, 2021 Contact: Lynn Sutfin, 517-241-2112

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is urging residents in West Michigan communities to sign up for the Michigan PFAS Exposure and Health Study (MiPEHS) to help ensure robust data gathering and to make the study as successful as possible.

MDHHS launched MiPEHS in November 2020, with the goal of learning more about the relationship between PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) and health among residents who have been exposed to various levels of PFAS in their drinking water.

People who enroll in the study complete a blood sample appointment at one of two local study offices: one near the City of Parchment and Cooper Township in Kalamazoo County and one in the Belmont and Rockford area of Kent County. Blood samples will be tested for PFAS levels and health markers, including cholesterol. Some participants will also have their blood tested for PCBs. A survey is used to collect additional information about health and exposure to PFAS.

Anyone in these areas who is interested in joining can call 855-322-3037 to confirm their eligibility and enroll. As of Feb. 24, 620 people have enrolled in MiPEHS.

“To make the study as successful as possible, MDHHS encourages residents to call to see if they are eligible and to enroll,” said Kory Groetsch, MDHHS environmental public health director. “The more people that join, the better the study can show how PFAS exposure affects health. Our study offices have implemented a number of COVID-19 precautions for the safety of staff and participants. Measuring the amount of PFAS in the blood of people living in these study areas is a time-sensitive task that cannot wait until the pandemic is over.”

Participants can receive their blood PFAS results for free and are offered up to $55 on a gift card as a thank you for their time. To allow for the most comprehensive analysis and to track PFAS levels over time, participants will be invited to return to the study offices twice more in the next five years. Additional gift cards will be offered at each visit.

For more information about MiPEHS please visit Michigan.gov/DEHbio. Call 855-322-3037 today to check eligibility and enroll.

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