How to enroll in a PFAS health study in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo areas
LANSING, MI – State health officials to conduct five-year study on the impact of PFAS on the health of residents of West Michigan who have been exposed to various levels of ‘chemicals forever’ toxic in their drinking water.
Eligible residents who participate in the study will submit blood samples and answer survey questions three times during the study, which runs from 2020 to 2026, according to a press release issued on Monday, November 9. by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
The state health department will investigate residents in the affected areas of Parchment and Cooper Township in Kalamazoo County and the Belmont and Rockford areas of Kent County.
“Michigan continues to be a leader in PFAS research,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, medical director and deputy chief health officer, in a prepared statement.
“The Michigan PFAS Exposure and Health Study will provide residents of these communities with an opportunity to learn more about PFASs and their exposure levels and potential health impacts.”
PFAS are a family of thousands of synthetic chemicals used in non-stick and waterproofing products and fire-fighting foams. They have been found at some level in public water serving at least 1.9 million people in Michigan.
Human exposure to chemicals has been bound in epidemiological studies on certain cancers, thyroid disorders, low birth weight, high cholesterol and other chronic diseases.
MDHHS will send a registration package to all eligible participants in Parchment, Cooper Township, Belmont and Rockford by November 30, according to the release. Public health officials are asking anyone who thinks they are eligible for the study to contact the department’s study partner, RTI International, at 855-322-3037.
Throughout the study, participants will be asked to complete a comprehensive survey and provide blood samples three times, which will be tested for PFAS and health markers such as thyroid hormones and cholesterol, said public health officials.
Next year, health officials will launch another study in western Michigan on the relationship between PFAS and people exposed to the contaminant, according to the press release.
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will conduct a national study in partnership with the MDHHS in different populations across the country in 2021. The “multi-site study” will bring together data from Parchment, Cooper Township, Belmont and Rockford , as well as six other locations across the country.
State health officials will notify eligible residents once the study opens for enrollment in 2021, the statement said.
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