Heading For Fun at the Lake This Weekend? Michigan Health Officials Warn to Avoid Foam
One of the biggest weekends on the water for Michiganders is upon us, and State of Michigan Health Officials have a big health warning for us.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is recommending that anyone spending time at any of the state's bodies of water to avoid the foam. According to WDIV Detroit, this included lakes, rivers, and streams.
According to the report the foam that often surfaces on the shore of banks of waterways can actually be harmful. The foam runs the chance of containing harmful chemicals. High levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
Studies have indicated that higher PFAS exposure is linked to higher cholesterol and thyroid disease, and kids who have come into contact with PFAS-containing foam for just a few hours a day may be more at risk of negative health effects.
“Studies have shown that the risk of PFAS getting into your body from skin contact is low, but you can accidentally swallow PFAS or other chemicals and bacteria if you do not rinse off or bathe after coming into contact with the foam. Washing your hands and rinsing off after water activities can protect you from chemicals or bacteria that may be in water or foam", Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, MDHHS chief medical executive told WDIV.
So what do you look for when it comes to foam? For most, identifying foam that is potentially harmful may not be that easy, but there are a few key things to look for. The foam you need to avoid will be bright white in color, lightweight, and may pile up along shores or blow onto beaches. The safe & natural foam without PFAS is usually off-white and/or brown in color and will have an earthy or fishy scent.
The Michigan Department of Health & Human Services also advises keeping your four-legged babies away from any foam as to not let them ingest anything that might be harmful. Make sure to bathe and rinse them off as well.
For information on any health related issues in the state, visit MDDHS here.