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Health Effects Of PFAS Exposure

Dr. Norb Kaminski
Scott Pohl
/
WKAR/MSU
Dr. Norb Kaminski of MSU's Institute for Integrative Toxicology

In recent weeks, per- and polyfluorinated compounds known as PFAS have increasingly been detected in Michigan water supplies. According to Bridge Magazine, about two dozen sites in the state have been found to be contaminated with PFAS. WKAR’s Scott Pohl talks with Dr. Norb Kaminski, director of the Institute for Integrative Toxicology at Michigan State University, about exposure to PFAS.

Of the roughly two-dozen Michigan sites where PFAS contamination has been detected, only one is in the Lansing area. According to Bridge Magazine, the former General Motors site known as RACER Plant 3 has shown a highest sample of 14,000 parts per trillion.

Dr. Norb Kaminski of MSU’s Institute for Integrative Toxicology says that’s well above the level that’s permissible in water. “14,000 ppt is starting to get up there," Dr. Kaminski says, "certainly much higher than what we would like to see in water.”

RACER has been providing regular project updates to residents of a neighborhood west of the plant on a municipal water supply.

Dr. Kaminski says PFAS are persistent in the environment as well as in the body, but the public should keep in mind that most of the toxicology information we have comes from rodent studies rather than human.

Scott Pohl is a general assignment news reporter and produces news features and interviews. He is also an alternate local host on NPR's "Morning Edition."
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