Health Department Says Don’t Eat the Foam on the Rogue River
If you plan on spending time in the Rogue River, keep the foam floating on the water out of your mouth.
The Kent County Health Department has issued a warning that swallowing the foam could pose a human health risk.
KCHD issued the advisory "out of an abundance of caution" after receiving results from from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality on June 4, 2018:
"Surface water samples were taken from the Rogue River and its tributary Rum Creek in October of 2017. A sample of foam from the Rogue River was collected just below the Rockford Dam in April of 2018 as part of DEQ’s investigation...
Because of the amounts of PFAS found in that foam, MDHHS and KCHD have concluded that swallowing the foam may pose a human health risk. Therefore, the two agencies are advising people to take precautions against swallowing the foam while using the river recreationally."
According the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, PFAS (Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are man-made chemicals that are used in products like cookware, pizza boxes, and stain repellants. They can also be found in carpet, leather and apparel, textiles, paper and packaging, coatings, rubber and plastics.
The EPA reports,
"Most people have been exposed to PFAS. PFAS can accumulate and stay in the human body for long periods of time. There is evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse health outcomes in humans."
You can find out more about exposure to PFAS here.
Anyone with questions about the Rogue River environmental investigation should call MDEQ at (800) 662-9278.