Brinks to Trump Administration: Release New Research, Set New PFAS Guidelines

Brinks’ resolution demands action on chemical threatening Michigan families
Wednesday, May 23, 2018

LANSING — State Rep. Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) offered a resolution Tuesday calling on the Trump administration to release new research on the hazards of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and safety standards for the pollutant. PFAS leeches into groundwater, where it has contaminated drinking water wells at 15 locations around Michigan, including northern Kent County, the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base in Oscoda and sites around the Michigan Army National Guard’s airfield near Grayling. Exposure to PFAS above certain levels may raise the risk of cancer, increase cholesterol, decrease fertility and impact the growth, learning and behavior of infants and children.

“The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry has a new draft report about the hazards of PFAS substances, and from what we hear from the scientific community, these chemicals are harmful at a much smaller concentration than we once thought,” Rep. Brinks said. “But instead of releasing important information that can save lives and protect health, the Trump administration is sitting on it and preventing it from going public, putting the well-being of thousands of families in Michigan and many more across the nation in peril. My resolution simply calls on the Trump administration to release the new science so that we can set policy based on the most recent and accurate scientific research.”

If adopted, copies of the resolution will be sent to President Trump, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and its director for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, as well as Michigan’s congressional delegation.

“Science should never be held hostage by special interest groups or by the politicians who are catering to them,” Rep. Brinks said. “Everyone in Michigan deserves to live free from the fear that our air and water is making them sick, but that won’t happen if scientific research is prevented from reaching the public. I urge the president, the Department of Health and Human Services and the members of Congress to take immediate action to protect the people of Michigan and our nation from the harmful effects of PFAS exposure.”