FLINT (WJRT) - (4/5/19) - PFAS..you've seen it in the headlines and as we learn more about what it is, and just how dangerous it could be, the concern over it's effects continues to grow.
PFAS are a class of dangerous chemical compounds that are linked to serious health issues, like cancer.
But before clean-up can begin, there has to be an agreement on what levels are dangerous.
Right now there are at least 46 sites in Michigan, 44 of them in the Lower Peninsula, contaminated with the class of chemicals known as PFAS.
Friday morning, Senator Gary Peters toured one of those sites, an old landfill where Flint's Bishop Airport now sits.
"I think it's safe to say what we know now, we know this is really bad. This is bad stuff, we need to start having a standard to clean up, and we have to get our arms around the 4000 compounds that are in this class of chemicals," said Michigan Senator Gary Peters.
Peters is involved in a number of bi-partisan efforts in Washington to identify all the sites that contain PFAS.
"I've been very disappointed that the EPA has not put forward standards I've introduced legislation in the Senate.
My colleagues in the House have done similar things in the House as well to classify PFAS as a hazardous substance," commented Peters.
In addition to eliminating PFAS from those existing sites, Peter's would like to see businesses and manufacturers who use compounds like PFAS to stop using them.
"I am tired of the fact that we find out that these things are really bad, twenty years down the road, when they have caused a huge problem and a horrible toll on human health.
That's simply unacceptable," added Peters.
The Michigan senator also believes that there needs to be a process to evaluate chemical compounds before they get out into the marketplace.
Advances in sclence, biology and computing may help provide some answers going forward as more studies are done.