Officials seek blood tests for people exposed to chemicals

August 14, 2018 GMT

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Officials want to test the blood of hundreds of people in two western Michigan communities who have been exposed to toxic chemicals in their drinking water.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced the plan Tuesday in Grand Rapids. Environmental Health Director Kory Groetsch says about 800 people with contaminated wells are needed to participate.

Mlive .com reports the study will focus on Rockford and Belmont in Kent County, where shoemaker Wolverine World Wide dumped tannery waste into unlined landfills and gravel pits.


The waste contained perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS.

Officials say a recently concluded review of cancer data in the area was inconclusive. It’s the first step in an effort to determine how exposure to the chemicals might have affected residents’ health.