While Flint still recovers from a lead-tainted water crisis, Michigan is scrambling to combat potential health risks in tap water that stem from chemicals long used in firefighting, waterproofing, carpeting and other products.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, have been detected at military bases, water treatment plants and, most recently, an old industrial dump site for footwear company Wolverine World Wide. The Environmental Protection Agency classifies them as "emerging" nationally. They have sparked enough concern that Gov. Rick Snyder created a state response team and approved $23 million in emergency spending.
The chemicals have been identified at 28 sites in 14 communities across Michigan. Nearly half are on or near military installations, where the source is believed to firefighting foam.
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