Experts discuss Wolverine contamination at town hall

Wolverine world wide meeting after water worries

ROCKFORD, MICH. - Experts assembled by the Kent County Health Department admit there are some questions about PFAS well water contamination they can’t answer.

“There is a lot of stuff we don't know about this stuff,” says Kent County Health Department Spokesman Steve Kelso.

Wednesday night a panel of scientists and a Wolverine World Wide vice president spoke to the public about waterproofing chemicals the company dumped in townships around their Rockford tannery.

 It went on for decades, but was only recently discovered in well water near company property in Plainfield Township. PFAS is associated with some cancers and other illness and people are concerned about long term exposure.
  
“What is being done to understand the long term health effects of people that decades ago were exposed?” Asked a woman during the town hall meeting.

“If there is a way to go back and answer that, that would be great,” replied Kory Groetsch from the State Department of Health and Human Services.  “I wouldn't want to promise that is even a possibility.”

Experts also said they are investigating over 80 possible Wolverine World Wide dump sites in Kent County are greatly exaggerated.  

They have identified 20 sites in four general areas. Out of 614 residential wells tested, 30 samples exceed the 70 parts per trillion maximum set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

“And 180 houses that come in somewhere under 70 parts per trillion,” said Abigail Hendershott from the Department of Environmental Quality.

After the first of the year the health department says they will start mailing surveys to residents in the affected areas to try and learn if there has been a spike in cancers or other illness possibly associated with PFAS chemicals.
 

 

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