The Forever Chemicals

The Forever Chemicals
March 31, 2019 paperlesslion

It’s a curious acronym — PFAS — and it stands for a family of chemicals that’s in most homes and being detected in an increasing number of people’s water systems in Michigan and in other states and provinces.

PFAS – the latest threat to our drinking water – is explored in a new Detroit Public TV documentary from Great Lakes Now and MLive. Watch “The Forever Chemicals” on-demand at

Details from Great Lakes Now:

There is a newly detected and potentially harmful family of chemicals, called PFAS, that can be found in most homes and in an increasing number of people’s water systems in Michigan and the Great Lakes Basin.

The curious acronym stands for “per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances.” These industrial chemicals have been linked to fertility issues, high cholesterol, thyroid and liver problems and certain cancers. They’re used in our waterproof clothing, nonstick cookware, food packaging and industrial waste, and they’ve moved into our home water supplies, our wells and our communities’ water systems. They’ve also been discovered in the Great Lakes.

On Thursday, Detroit Public TV premiered a new documentary on “The Forever Chemicals” by Great Lakes Now, its environmental reporting team, It can be watched at any time on-demand at 

It makes for informative, if harrowing, viewing. Once PFAS chemicals are in people’s systems and the environment, they stay there for a long time. Research is only beginning to determine the health effects and what, if any, treatment there might be.

The documentary explores such questions as: What can people do to protect themselves and their families? And at what cost?

In conjunction with reporters from new media partner, MLive, the Great Lakes Now team travels around Michigan talking to water experts, health professionals, politicians and residents with PFAS in their home water supplies.

By exploring how the problem emerged in two communities, the film explains what affected citizens are doing to get answers to their questions and hold polluters and politicians accountable.

The documentary is the first product of a unique collaboration of Detroit Public TV and the MLive Media Group for coverage that will further public understanding of this latest water crisis.

For more information about PFAS and drinking water safety, I encourage you to visit GreatLakesNow for continuous updates on this evolving story.