It's raining toxic PFAS chemicals in several different states in the Great Lakes region including two picturesque towns in Michigan.

Over the last several years we having been hearing more and more about PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) contamination in lakes, rivers, and drinking water.  And now scientists are learning that PFAS chemicals are being found in rainwater in the Great Lakes region.

PFAS is a toxic chemical that is used in the manufacturing of many different consumer products like stain repellents, paints, polishes, and coatings.  The chemicals are found in many everyday products and when they are used, small amounts of PFAS are released into the air and can end up in different sources of water.

New research from the Integrated Atmospheric Deposition Network has detected high levels of PFAS in rainwater in several cities and towns across the Great Lakes, including two in Michigan.  The research monitored rainwater in Cleveland, Ohio, Chicago, Illinois, Sturgeon Point, New York, Point Petre in Ontario, Canada, and Sleeping Bear Dunes, Michigan and Eagle Harbor, Michigan.

According to an article by Grist.org, "Scientists say the early analysis, first presented at the Emerging Contaminants in the Environment Conference in April, shows that PFAS chemicals are a major contaminant regionally in snow and rain."

The PFAS chemicals found in the rainwater are between 100 and 400 parts per trillion (ppt), which is between 1.5X and 5.5X the limit set for drinking water by the government at 70 ppt.  That means that the rain that is falling on several Michigan towns is considered less "safe" than the drinking water that runs through the pipes.

PFAS is sometimes referred to as "forever chemicals" because of the strong chemical bonds in has which means it takes a very long time to breakdown naturally.  These chemicals are filtering into soil, groundwater, and even wildlife.  And as the chemicals become more prevalent in our environment, they will also become more prevalent in the human body which cause a variety of health concerns.

The toxic rain has no immediate effect on humans health, but as time goes on and the chemicals accumulate in greater amounts, it could have long lasting effects on animal and human health.

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