Kent County Health Department Issues Order in Chemical Vapor Case

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The Kent County Health Department (KCHD) has issued an order to prohibit the occupancy of 401 Hall SE, 1168 Madison SE and one apartment located at 1170 Madison SE.Kent County

The order, issued late afternoon Thursday May 19, 2016, came after KCHD was notified by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) that vapor levels in test samples performed by DEQ indicated above acceptable levels for human exposure to the chemical tetracholorethylene (PERC).

The acceptable level of PERC in the air is 6 parts per billion (ppb). Testing in the above addresses showed levels between 25 – 50 ppb.

KCHD has reached out to people who live and work at the affected addresses to obtain blood and urine samples to obtain baseline information. Most of those samples have been collected at this time.

The Kent County Health Department does not believe that acute health problems are likely. Those people who have been tested are being encouraged to follow up with their primary care physicians.

The affected addresses include two nonprofit agencies, The Red Project and Seeds of Promise. KCHD is only concerned with testing people who worked at those agencies or lived in the property. KCHD does not believe that clients of these agencies or people who may have simply visited the above addresses are at risk due to the reduced level of potential exposure.

DEQ has for been actively monitoring an established plume of PERC in the area for some time.

The Kent County Health Department will be happy to answer questions related to health issues and departmental process in this situation.