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Tests show 2018 Melvindale 'mystery foam' contained high levels of PFAS

Substance was loaded with PFAS, researchers say

MELVINDALE, Mich. – Extensive testing has revealed the "mystery foam" that oozed onto the street in Melvindale last year contained high levels of PFAS, officials said.

The foam appeared in August, and while authorities still don't know exactly where it came from, they know it was loaded with PFAS.

The mysterious substance baffled first responders and anyone else in Melvindale driving along Schaefer Highway.

It smelled, oozed and for days there were guesses as to what it was and its source.

Officials with the Great Lakes Water Authority announced Tuesday the foam contained high levels of PFAS, chemical compounds that have been around for 80 years and are found in products such as Scotchguard and other industrial materials.

It's likely not the fault of nearby Norfolk Southern Railroad or Marathon Oil, officials said.

Officials with the GLWA believe the substance was AFFF foam, which is used by the military and fire departments. They want to further investigate that theory.

For now, the No. 1 goal for officials is to find any residual material and clean it.

The Melvindale fire chief was unavailable to talk Tuesday, and the assistant chief declined to comment on the new information.


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