Be aware of PFAS on lakes and rivers

Published: Jul. 1, 2020 at 9:36 AM EDT
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While not all beaches are open because of the COVID-19 pandemic, those who do find a place to swim should still be aware of PFAS contamination.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said in a Wednesday news release that foam on the state’s lakes and rivers known to have PFAS substances should be avoided.

The foam can form either naturally, from decomposing organic matter, or from pollution.

Specific advisories are posted at

. They include bodies of water in Oscoda, Grayling, Rockford, Grand Rapids and Southeast Michigan.

Not all foam has PFAS contamination. If it does, it’s likely to be bright white, lightweight, sticky, pile like shaving cream and blowing onto beaches.

“Although current science indicates PFAS does not move easily through the skin, it’s best to rinse off foam after contact and bathe or shower after the day’s outdoor activities,” Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive and chief deputy for health, said in the release. “None of this information changes recommendations for water use at home.”

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development advised pet owners to not let their animals to come into contact with the foam.

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