Do you know about toxic PFAS foam on lakes and rivers?

This summer, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services recommends that Michiganders avoid foam on Michigan lakes, rivers, streams, and beaches. 

Foam can contain harmful chemicals, including high levels of PFAS. Natural foam is usually off-white or brown in color with an earthy or fishy scent, and collects in bays or dams. But foam that contains PFAS is typically a bright white color, is lightweight, and may collect along shores of beaches. 

When children come in contact with foam containing PFAS for even a few hours a day, they may be at risk of negative health effects. It is also recommended that people monitor their pets so they do not come in contact with PFAS foam.

The science around PFAS is still developing. MDHHS works with local health departments to issue recommendations and health advisories for foam on waterbodies. Health advisories have been issued for some waterbodies where PFAS-containing foam has been found.

These advisories can be found in the “PFAS Foam on Lakes and Streams” section of the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team Website. MDHHS continues to review data on PFAS-containing foam as it is available and will issue advisories as needed.