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Lab error blamed for positive PFOS test in southeast Michigan

Lester Graham
Michigan Radio

A lab error is being blamed for a positive testfor chemical contamination with a chemical in the PFAS family in the River Raisin watershed.

Tests on water samples taken this summer near the intake area of the Deerfield water filtration plant indicated a high result for a chemical known as PFOS. PFAS are industrial chemicals. Some kinds have been linked to serious human health effects.

But the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy now says there was an error in the testing done by a lab in California.

Tests of drinking water in Deerfield, Monroe and other nearby communities did not turn up any sign of contamination.

“I want to remind residents that the treated drinking water showed no evidence of PFOS, so there was never an issue to their water,” says state Senator Dale Zorn (R-Ida), in a press release. “While the summer notification for area families was unfortunate, it is always best to be safe rather than sorry when it comes to our drinking water.”

A new round of testing is underway.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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