PFAS investigation underway at Lansing Airport

LANSING, Michigan (WILX) – The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy added Lansing Capital Region International Airport to its list of potentially contaminated drinking water locations after PFAS material was found near and on airport premises.

Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have been linked to a variety of health problems, including some cancers, liver damage, and decreased fertility. It is a chemical that is found in a wide variety of places in the environment. Rebecca Jordan of Michigan State University’s Department of Community Sustainability says PFAS are common on airport grounds.

“The foam that is used to fight fires and the type of fire that occurs in airports,” Jordan said. “You want to put out gas fires and the like quickly. The really effective foam that contains a lot of these types of chemicals. “

According to the airport, fire retardant foam containing PFAS was used to extinguish a fire in a plane crash in August this year. In a statement on behalf of the Capital Region Airports Authority, the airport announced that PFAS is present on its property and it believes there is no imminent threat to human health.

Jordan agrees, and says just because it’s there doesn’t mean people drink it.

“Given that Lansing Airport used this foam and it’s near the water, that doesn’t necessarily mean your drinking water comes from there,” Jordan said.

According to the airport, sampling was carried out by EGLE in residential areas in May 2021. The wells checked did not contain any PFAS.

The airport also told News 10 that it had submitted a work plan for additional sampling sites to account for the potential impact of PFAS on its property.

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