Health Dept.: Don’t eat the foam on the Rogue River

Posted at 1:46 PM, Jun 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-05 14:54:55-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Kent County Health Department and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services are recommending that you don’t eat or drink the foam floating on the Rogue River.

Rogue River

Rogue River

The advisory is being issued in an “abundance of caution” after a sample of the foam in April taken by the Michigan DEQ in their investigation of PFAS chemicals in the river showed the PFAS in the foam may pose a risk to people.  They say that current science says PFAS do not easily enter the body through the skin, so contact with the foam does not pose a risk.

The river and creeks around Rockford have been undergoing testing for PFAS since the chemicals were found in groundwater and drinking wells in the area, connected to former dumping sites of Wolverine Worldwide.

Wolverine Worldwide posted on their blog Tuesday in response to the Health Department’s advisory. They say the sources of the PFOS and PFAS are still being identified, but they are working to block the groundwater from the former tannery site to the river.   They also say the levels of PFOS in the foam do not relate to the levels of PFOS in the water.

Residents with questions should call the Michigan DEQ at 800-662-9278.